SOFTS-Liffe cocoa eases to 10-month low on supply prospects
* Dry weather monitored in West Africa cocoa regions
* Certified robusta stocks expected to rise
(Adds quote, updates prices)
LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Liffe cocoa futures hit a 10-month low on Tuesday, under pressure from good supply prospects for West Africa's mid crops, while arabica coffee slipped and raw sugar rose, although both were near more than two-year lows.
Dealers have been talking about the potential for record West African cocoa mid-crops after mostly favourable growing conditions, although recent dry weather could challenge this.
For now, dealers say the crop should be large.
May cocoa on Liffe eased 4 pounds or 0.3 percent to 1,405 pounds ($2,200) a tonne at 1523 GMT, after earlier falling to 1,404 pounds, the lowest level since April 2012.
"The flowering on the trees and the pod-setting looked very good for the mid crop, but then some are suggesting the pod survival rate may not be good," said Eric Sivry, head of agriculture options brokerage at Marex Spectron.
"Last week was dry ... it's just a week-by-week monitoring of the process of pod development. The reality is you need a good succession of rains and sunshine."
May cocoa futures on ICE eased $18 or 0.9 percent to $2,125 per tonne after dipping to $2,124 earlier in the session, the lowest level since June 2012.
Cameroon's cocoa exports rose almost 15 percent in the five months to the end of January, compared with the same period last season, National Cocoa and Coffee Board statistics showed on Tuesday.
COFFEE DIGESTS LOSSES
May arabica coffee futures on ICE edged down 0.25 cent or 0.2 percent to $1.3985 per lb, which was near Friday's low of $1.3965, the lowest level since June 2010.
In robusta coffee, dealers said gradings on the exchange may have put some pressure on the front-month ahead of it's becoming deliverable on March 1.
The March contract traded at around a $35 discount to May <LRC-1=R>, having traded at a premium earlier this month.
? "There has been some coffee graded, so it will be
interesting to see when the certified stocks come out if they have increased a bit," a London-based broker said.
May robusta coffee futures on Liffe were $1 lower at $2,055 a tonne.
The next certified stock update is due from the exchange on Thursday.
March raw sugar futures on ICE traded up 0.14 cent or 0.8 percent at 18.14 cents per lb, after hitting the lowest level since August 2010 on Thursday.
Heavy supply prospects kept prices under pressure as crop outlooks improved for top producers Brazil and India.
"There's some short-covering," another London-based broker said. "I don't think it's anything fundamental. At the end of the day there's going to be a lot of sugar around."
Dealers monitored the widening of the March premium over May <SB-1=R>, saying producer selling on May had contributed to the move.
Iraq has again tendered to purchase at least 50,000 tonnes of white sugar to be sourced from any optional origins excluding India and Thailand, European traders said on Tuesday.
May white sugar on Liffe eased $4.10 or 0.8 percent to $493.80 a tonne. ($1 = 0.6460 British pounds)
(Reporting by Sarah McFarlane; editing by Keiron Henderson and Jane Baird)