SOFTS-Sugar prices hit 2-1/2 year lows as Indian exports loom, cocoa slips

LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) - Sugar futures on ICE hit a their lowest in more than 2-1/2 years on Tuesday amid growing concerns that India will export its surplus supplies to the world market, while cocoa prices also slipped.


* August white sugar was down $7.20, or 2.1 percent, at $333.90 by 1114 GMT, after hitting $332.70 per tonne, the weakest for the second position since late August 2015.

* May white sugar, which expires on Friday, was down $2.80, or 0.8 percent, at $344.80 per tonne.

* Dealers said prices were pressured by expectations that India's government is poised to introduce a subsidy in a bid to make exports to the world market viable.

* The subsidy would likely spur Indian refiners to export excess white sugar sooner than previously expected, dealers said, adding pressure on a global market already grappling with excess supplies.

* "There's a lot more confidence that this subsidy on exports is going to come through pretty shortly," said one dealer. "And that's increased the likelihood of Indian exports hitting the market, especially against August."

* Prices were also weighed by stronger-than-expected production in Thailand, where cane crushing is underway, dealers said.

* May raw sugar also fell 0.22, or 1.8 percent, to 12.14 cents per lb, after hitting 12.11, its weakest since late September 2015.

* Dealers said prices were dragged lower by the whites market and by technical weakness, after they slipped below technical support levels.


* July London cocoa fell 17 pounds, or 1 percent, to 1,737 pounds a tonne.

* July New York cocoa slipped $19, or 0.7 percent, to $2,534 a tonne, giving up gains made a day earlier.

* Both markets have retreated after rallying last month, with dealers pointing to an improving crop outlook in Ivory Coast.

* Exporter estimates on Monday placed cocoa arrivals at ports in Ivory Coast only slightly below last year's record levels.


* May arabica coffee was down 0.45 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $1.182 per lb, consolidating after rallying on short covering in the prior session.

* However, momentum remained capped by expectations for strong production from Brazil and the threat of producer hedging.

* May robusta coffee was down $3, or 0.2 percent, at $1,756 a tonne.

* Top grower Vietnam exported a total of 200,210 tonnes of robusta coffee in March, customs data showed on Tuesday, exceeding government forecasts. (Reporting by Ana Ionova; Editing by Mark Potter)