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New York cocoa futures fell to their lowest levels in nearly five months on Friday, weighed down by an improving outlook for the 2019/20 main crops in West Africa and concerns about the health of the global economy and its potential impact on demand.

December New York cocoa settled down $11, or 0.5%, at $2,187 a tonne after slumping to $2,170, its lowest since March 25. The contract shed about 2.1% on the week, its fifth consecutive negative weekly finish. Prices have been pressured by expectations that future supplies will be plentiful given good weather and a strong production outlook in top-growing region West Africa, dealers said.

Global economic uncertainty was also weighing down the market, dealers said, as it could have an impact on future demand. December London cocoa fell 10 pounds, or 0.6%, to 1,711 pounds a tonne, after dipping to a three-month low of 1,706 pounds. The contract shed 3.8% on the week.

Second-largest cocoa producer Ghana will not make a decision on a cocoa farmgate price until an industry committee meets to discuss it in September, a spokesman for the Ghana Cocoa Board said on Thursday. October raw sugar settled up 0.01 cent, or 0.1%, at 11.64 cents per lb. The contract shed 1.9% on the week.

Prices have traded all week within the range established on Monday, with the market stabilizing as concerns about excess nearby supplies offset by the prospect of a global deficit in the 2019/20 season, dealers said. Dealers were continuing to track the weather in major producer and top consumer India, where delayed but above-average monsoon rains have provided relief to some dry cane-growing regions but resulted in flooding in others.

Weekly Commitments of Traders data to be issued later on Friday was expected to show a further build in the speculative net short position, dealers said. October white sugar settled up $0.60, or 0.2%, at $314.10 a tonne. Brazil's sugarcane crush in the 2019/20 season was an estimated 633.6 million tonnes, 2% higher than in the previous season, broker INTL FCStone said.

December arabica coffee settled down 1.65 cents, or 1.7%, at 96.35 cents per lb. The contract tumbled 4.3% on the week, its fourth consecutive negative weekly finish. Prices remain pressured by ample global supplies following a large harvest in Brazil this year. November robusta coffee settled down $21 or 1.2%, at $1,333 a tonne.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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