SOFTS-Raw sugar hits more than 2-year low, surplus weighs
* Sugar market looks to Brazil's 2013/14 crop
* Asia's Q4 cocoa grind rose 2.8 pct
(Adds details, quotes, updates prices)
LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE fell to near a two-and-a-half year low on Tuesday as the market refocused on surplus supplies, after index rebalancing provided some support at the opening of the year.
Arabica coffee and cocoa futures on ICE also eased.
Raw sugar futures edged lower, with March down 0.03 cent or 0.2 percent at 18.34 cents per lb at 1238 GMT, after touching 18.25 cents earlier in the session, the lowest level for the front month since August 2010.
Dealers said both the technical and fundamental outlooks for the market were bearish, with a break below 18.25 cents likely to trigger further losses.
"If we close below here, then definitely we're going all the way to around 18 cents," said VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov, adding there was a clear downtrend.
"For the past four or five sessions, volume has been very decent. That's new shorts added, so there's some bearish bets here."
As top producer Brazil's cane crush nears completion, focus has shifted to the coming crop, which is expected to surpass a bumper 2012/13 crush.
"We need to wait for the next Brazilian estimates in the spring, and nothing is going to change much until then," Kryuchenkov said.
March white sugar on Liffe fell $1.40 or 0.3 percent to $488.40 per tonne. The contract dipped to $486.20 earlier in the session, the lowest level for the front month since June 2010.
Cocoa futures on ICE eased following publication of Asia's quarterly grind data, which, in line with expectations, showed a slight increase compared with the same period a year ago.
"It was supposed to be positive, but we didn't know exactly how positive it was going to be," a London-based broker said.
March cocoa futures were down $33 or 1.4 percent at $2,252 per tonne.
Cocoa grindings in Asia rose 2.8 percent to 155,237 tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with 150,972 tonnes in the same period in 2011, the Cocoa Association of Asia said on its website.
Asia's grind followed North America reporting around a 1 percent rise and the European grind falling around 6 percent.
"Overall the (fourth quarter) grindings data was neutral to positive," said the broker.
May cocoa futures on Liffe fell 12 pounds or 0.8 percent to 1,468 pounds a tonne.
Dealers monitored March's premium to May <LCC-1=R>, which rose to a peak of about 10 pounds last week but has since fallen back to near level, with the market's tight structure supported by falling Liffe-certified stocks.
Arabica coffee futures were slightly lower, consolidating below Friday's two-and-a-half month high, as dealers noted potential for further short-covering gains after data published Friday showed funds had trimmed their net short position.
"Funds are still short but they covered ... it was an opportunity for origins to fix," a London-based broker said, noting there was still a lot of coffee to come out of top producers Brazil and Vietnam.
March arabica futures traded down 1.05 cent or 0.7 percent at $1.5525 per lb, while May was down 1.15 cent at $1.5795.
"Short term we need to break $1.61 basis May to have a real rally in this market," the broker said.
Dealers monitored information on damage to Central American trees from the roya coffee disease.
"There has been a lot of talk about roya destroying crops in Central America - some say as much as 2 million bags might have been affected. They might just have to downgrade some of this coffee, but I'm pretty sure it will make it to the market one way or another," the broker added.
March robusta coffee futures were up $6 or 0.3 percent at $1,976 a tonne with the market, digesting gains after peaking at $1,989 on Friday, the highest level for the second position since Nov. 2.
(Reporting by Sarah McFarlane; editing by James Jukwey and Jane Baird)