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SOFTS-Raw sugar falls to eight-week low; NY cocoa edges higher

(Updates prices and market activity; adds comments, NEW YORK to dateline) NEW YORK/LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE fell on Thursday to their lowest levels in eight weeks, pressured by signals of weak Asian demand and the prospect of Indian exports, while New York cocoa prices inched higher.


* October raw sugar settled down 0.24 cent, or 2%, at 11.55 cents per lb, after hitting a May 23 low of 11.53 cents.

* This was the contract's sixth consecutive negative close.

* The sugar market remained under pressure following a large delivery of Thai white sugar against the August contract that expired Tuesday, especially as the appearance of sugar from Thailand suggested weak Asian demand, dealers said.

* The possibility that India, a top sugar producer and the world's biggest consumer, could export up to 8 million tonnes of the sweetener, was also a bearish influence, dealers said.

* "This would be more than enough to compensate for the expected decline in production in other regions. It is thus questionable whether the market will be able to easily absorb this additional quantity," Commerzbank said in a market note.

* October white sugar settled up $0.3, or 0.1%, at $312.60 per tonne.

* Suedzucker, Europe's largest sugar refiner, said that trading conditions remained intensely difficult, with low sugar prices and no turnaround likely for the company's current financial year.


* September New York cocoa settled up $16, or 0.7%, at $2,440 per tonne.

* The market was underpinned by reduced output in second-largest producer Ghana because of crop disease, as well as the country's agreement with largest producer Ivory Coast to fix a "living income differential" for farmers.

* Ghana's Cocoa Marketing Company has postponed about 50,000 tonnes of cocoa export contracts that it will not be able to execute from the current crop, sources at Ghana's marketing board Cocobod said on Wednesday.

* Ivory Coast's Coffee and Cocoa Council has sold 1.6 million tonnes of cocoa export contracts by July 12 for the 2019/20 season, which begins in October, two sources at the industry regulator said on Thursday.

* September London cocoa settled down 3 pounds, or 0.2%, at 1,833 pounds per tonne, pressured by a stronger pound.


* September arabica coffee settled up 1.2 cent, or 1.1%, at $1.086 per lb.

* September robusta coffee settled up $4, or 0.3%, at $1,427 per tonne.

* Vietnam's domestic coffee prices were unchanged on Thursday from a week earlier, while the Indonesian premium narrowed slightly on abundant supplies.

* Commodity trader Louis Dreyfus Company has appointed Michael Gelchie as head of its coffee platform, trade sources said on Thursday.

(Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Nigel Hunt in London; Editing by Deepa Babington, David Goodman and Diane Craft)