SOFTS-Cocoa falls again, dropping to five-month low
* Cocoa, sugar, coffee trade thinly after Christmas
* Liffe markets closed for Boxing Day holiday
* COMING UP: Liffe softs markets to reopen Thursday
NEW YORK/LONDON, Dec 26 (Reuters) - U.S. cocoa futures fell for the seventh straight day on Wednesday, dropping to a five-month low, as some investors liquidated their long positions in thin holiday dealings as the end of the year approached.
Raw sugar and arabica coffee futures trading on ICE Futures U.S. climbed higher on the coattails of the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global benchmark for commodities, as U.S. crude oil approached a 10-week high.
The euro traded above $1.32 against the U.S. dollar for a seventh straight session due to position adjustment going into the end of the year. USD/ 3/4
A weak greenback provides support to dollar-traded commodities, such as sugar and coffee, attracting buying by investors holding other currencies.
Volume was thin in all three markets as they opened late following the Christmas holiday on Tuesday, with many dealers still away from their desks. The Liffe softs markets remained closed for Boxing Day. The London market will reopen on Thursday.
The benchmark March cocoa futures contract trading on ICE closed down $10, or 0.4 percent, at $2,263 per tonne, the lowest settlement for the contract on the spot continuation chart since July 25.
The spot contract was on track to finish December down more than 10 percent, its weakest monthly performance since November 2011, preliminary Thomson Reuters data showed.
"Cocoa is in the throes of a correction right now," said Sterling Smith, a futures specialist for Citigroup in Chicago. "I think we are seeing some unwinding here. The market really doesn't have a lot of things to drive it higher."
Speculators continue to hold a large net long position in cocoa futures and options, which sat above 28,000 lots in the week to Dec. 18, just shy of the nearly three-year high reached two weeks earlier.
Indonesia, the world's third-biggest cocoa producer, kept its tax on bean exports unchanged at 5 percent, an official at the Trade Ministry said.
Raw sugar futures on ICE inched higher in consolidative dealings as the market remained in the range it has held for the past three weeks, from roughly 19.60 cents to 18.31 cents per lb, the lowest level in more than two years, basis the spot contract.
Reports for some dry weather in the northeast region of Brazil, the world's biggest sugar producer, attracted some short-covering that helped support the market, dealers said.
The benchmark March raw sugar contract climbed 0.14 cent, or 0.7 percent, to 19.16 cents per lb by 12:31 p.m. EST (1731 GMT).
Arabica coffee was also viewed as consolidating. It climbed for the third straight day, rising further above the 2-1/2-year low of $1.4220 per lb reached on Dec. 14, basis the second position.
The key March contract rose 1.7 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $1.4870 per lb.
Importers were keeping an eye on a potential strike by U.S. dock workers on the East and Gulf coasts. On Monday, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service said the parties involved, the International Longshoremen's Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance, had agreed to attend a meeting ahead of the Dec. 29 contract expiration.
(Editing by John Wallace)