SOFTS-Sugar prices fall to new 2-1/2 year low, cocoa turns higher

(Updates throughout, adds comment, detail)

LONDON, April 11 (Reuters) - Sugar futures on ICE fell further on Wednesday, to their lowest in more than 2-1/2 years, as producer hedging and ample global supplies weighed on sentiment, while cocoa prices edged higher.


* May raw sugar was down 0.16, or 1.3 percent, at 11.97 cents per lb by 1321 GMT, after hitting 11.93 cents, its lowest since late September 2015.

* August white sugar fell $3.20, or 1 percent, to $332.80 per tonne, having also hit its weakest since August 2015.

* Dealers said prices were partly pressured by hedging from Thai and Brazilian producers, with the latter rushing to take advantage of the weakening in the real currency.

* "There is a game of leapfrog taking place between Brazilian and Thai producers as they compete to fix export prices," Nick Penney, senior trader at Sucden Financial, said in a market note.

* Ample global supplies and the possibility of Indian exports also remained in focus, as the country mulls a subsidy that could make exports viable.

* One dealer said Indian domestic prices have recently weakened and are now roughly $100 above the world market, which means the government has a smaller gap to bridge with financial assistance.

* May white sugar, which expires on Friday, fell$1.90, or 0.6 percent, to $343.70 per tonne, although it remained at a premium to forward positions.

* Dealers said the strong May/August spread signalled sellers were hesitant to deliver against the contract.

* "The spread suggests a shortage of deliverable sugar," said one dealer, noting current prices were unattractive to EU and Thai producers.

* Reduced availability of white sugar from Central America and the EU has supported spot prices in recent weeks.


* July London cocoa climbed 11 pounds, or 0.6 percent, to 1,751 pounds a tonne.

* July New York cocoa rose $13, or 0.5 percent, to $2,544 a tonne.

* Both markets remained within their recent trading ranges, with dealers pointing to speculative activity as the key driver.

* There were signs of recovering demand, however, as Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut reported sales rose 8 percent in the six months to February, compared to global growth of 2.5 percent.


* May arabica coffee was down 0.90 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $1.1670 per lb.

* Brazilian green coffee exports fell in March to the lowest level in six years for that month, exporters' association Cecafé reported on Tuesday.

* May robusta coffee was unchanged at $1,736 a tonne. (Reporting by Ana Ionova, editing by David Evans and Susan Fenton)