(Updates with closing prices, adds comments)
NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – New York cocoa futures climbed to the highest level in almost nine months on Friday, buoyed by low stocks and a recent large front-month premium, while arabica coffee prices retreated from the prior session’s two-month peak.
* March New York cocoa closed up $47, or 1.7%, at $2,712 a tonne, after rising to a peak of $2,746 during the session, a contract high and the highest price since late February.
* Dealers said certified stocks remained low at 198,117 60-kg bags, as of Nov. 19, compared with 310,446 bags at the same time a year earlier. The decline reflects a drawdown in stocks of Ivorian Group A cocoa to 94,287 bags from 239,118 bags.
* The fall in stocks has helped to spark huge premiums for the December contract in recent days and also provided support for 2021 contracts.
* March London cocoa was up 25 pounds at 1,816 pounds a tonne.
* Ghana’s cocoa regulator threatened on Thursday to suspend the sustainability schemes used by major cocoa and chocolate companies to assure consumers that the beans they use are sustainably and ethically sourced.
* March arabica coffee fell 5.15 cents, or 4.2%, to $1.1805 per lb, retreating from the prior session’s two-month high of $1.2440.
* Dealers said there indication that damage to crops in Central America from the 2020 hurricane season may not be as bad as some had feared, although the destruction of infrastructure remains a concern.
* Rains in Brazil could also potentially improve the outlook for 2021 crops in the world’s top producer.
* January robusta coffee lost $5 to $1,386 a tonne.
* March raw sugar was down 0.07 cent at 15.21 cents per lb. The front month had peaked at 15.66 cents on Tuesday, its highest since mid-February.
* Dealers said the market continues to watch for potential damages to Central America cane fields, as well as any signal of a new export policy in India.
* March white sugar fell $1.40 at $413.30 a tonne. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira and Nigel Hunt; Editing by David Evans and Marguerita Choy)