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SOFTS-Robusta coffee hits contract low; sugar and cocoa end down

(Recasts, updates prices; adds comment, NEW YORK to dateline) NEW YORK/LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Robusta coffee futures hit a new contract low on Friday as ample supplies and fund selling pressured prices, while raw sugar futures were pressured by the falling currency in top grower Brazil. COFFEE * March robusta coffee settled down $34, or 2.3 percent, at $1,470 per tonne, after dipping to a new contract low of $1,468, also the weakest for the second position since Sept. 4. * Robusta coffee futures end the week down 5.4 percent from the week prior. * Dealers said the harvesting of a large crop in top robusta producer Vietnam was keeping the market on the defensive. * "There's a large crop and still a bunch of beans to be harvested," said Jack Scoville, president of Price Futures Group. "After breaking through several support levels, speculators sold off more just before the end of the session." * Farmers in Dak Lak province in Vietnam's Central Highlands, the country's largest coffee growing area, have harvested nearly 80 percent of their 2018-19 crop, while it is around 50 percent in other provinces in the area. * March arabica coffee settled down 1.85 cent, or 1.8 percent, at $1.0225 per lb, drifting down towards a 2-1/2-month low of $1.0175 set on Thursday. It closes the week down 1.6 percent. * Dealers said the weakness of Brazil's currency contributed to the decline, making prices for dollar-denominated commodities more attractive for producers in the world's top grower and potentially encouraging a pick-up in sales. SUGAR * March raw sugar settled down 0.1 cent, or 0.8 percent, at 12.65 cents per lb, also pressured by the weak Brazilian currency, traders said. It closes the week down 1.7 percent. * They also said the overall impact of a potential El Nino weather event could be limited. * March white sugar settled down $2.20, or 0.6 percent, at $343 per tonne to close the week down 0.6 percent. COCOA * March London cocoa settled down 9 pounds, or 0.5 percent, at 1,665 pounds per tonne, earlier reaching a one-month high, 1,693, and closing the week up 7.8 percent. * Dealers said the run-up had been driven largely by chart-driven speculative buying, adding that the strong pace of port arrivals in top producer Ivory Coast indicated that supplies appear likely to be ample in coming months. * March New York cocoa settled down $13, or 0.6 percent, at $2,237 per tonne, earlier hitting a one-month high and closing 2.9 percent higher on the week. (Reporting by Renita D. Young in New York and Nigel Hunt in London; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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