US cocoa futures hit fresh 2-1/2 year lows on Friday as worries of a supply glut weighed again on the beverage and confection material, while arabica coffee prices rose for the first time in three days.
Raw sugar fell for a third straight day, extending five-month lows, and traders said they expected further losses if technical selling pressure and negative headlines from the Eurozone persisted.
"The entire world is focusing on Europe and there's a lot of speculation on what might happen with the Eurozone; how they are going to pay off all this debt, plus there's a lot of political uncertainty," said Jeremy Gatto, head of trading at commodities hedge fund Tiberius Asset Management.
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World equity markets remained near their lowest levels since October and commodities, as a whole, extended their weakness from Thursday.
Cocoa futures on ICE Futures USA hit their lows from July 2009 as ample supplies kept the market on the defensive.
Cocoa bean arrivals from Ivory Coast continued to pick up at ports, although the pace of shipments from the top cocoa producer was slower than last year as some Ivorian farmers resisted selling into a falling market.
The cocoa industry is "fairly well-covered, with around 10 to 13 weeks of working stocks" from buyers who have scaled down, a London-based broker said.
ICE cocoa for March delivery settled down $47, (Dh172.49) or 1.9 per cent, at $2,458 a tonne, after dipping to $2,440 a tonne — a 2-1/2 year low for the market's key second month contract.
London March cocoa futures closed down £39 (Dh226), or 2.4 per cent, at £1,565 a tonne.
Raw sugar futures gave back early gains to close below the 24 cents per pound level seen as an earlier support.
ICE's March raw sugar settled down 7 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at 23.97 cents a pound. The contract hit a session low of 23.90 cents
"The trend is still lower," said Nick Penney of Sucden Financial.
London's white sugar futures for March, traded on Liffe, closed down $6 at $623 per tonne. Arabica coffee futures on ICE edged higher as dealers eyed weather in Brazil during the key flowering period for next year's crop.
Sweet deal: Hopes of support
Some dealers were hopeful that physical buying of sugar from Malaysia before the end of the year would provide some fundamental support to the market.
Malaysia's cabinet is expected to approve a purchase of slightly less than three million tonnes of raw sugar in the next few weeks, a Malaysian industry source close to the deal told Reuters on Friday.