NEW YORK, Dec 1 (Reuters) -

Arabica coffee futures on the ICE exchange hit a six-month peak on Friday as traders' attention returned to the slide in ICE-certified stocks to 24-year lows, while raw sugar hit a three-month trough.


* March arabica coffee settled down 0.35 cent, or 0.2%, at $1.8435 per lb, after earlier hitting a six-month peak of $1.8825. The contract gained 9.6% in the week.

* Data on Thursday showed ICE arabica inventories fell to 224,066 bags, the lowest since February 1999.

* Against that, dealers said a cold front is expected to bring much needed rain over the coffee-producing areas of Brazil over the weekend, improving prospects for what should be a bumper crop next season.

* January robusta coffee fell $39, or 1.5%, at $2,572 a metric ton.

* Dealers said the climate in top robusta producer Vietnam has been favourable for harvesting thanks to cooler temperatures and no rain, meaning the coffee is starting to flow.

* They added, however, the current pace may not be enough to fulfil new business and delayed orders from the last crop.


* March raw sugar fell 3.6% to 25.09 cents per lb after setting a three-month low of 24.95 cents. It posted a weekly loss of 7%.

* Dealers said the strong pace of production in top producer Brazil was keeping the market on the defensive, while funds that following technical signals are liquidating their long positions as the market turns bearish near term.

* Imports of Ukrainian sugar into the European Union grew tenfold last season and extended their rise at the start of the current 2023/24 season to the detriment of Brazil which is on track of losing its leadership in the bloc.

* March white sugar fell 2.8% to $696.80 a metric ton.


* March London cocoa settled down 60 pounds, or 1.7%, to 3,498 pounds a ton after setting a fresh record high on Thursday.

* The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) on Friday trimmed back is global cocoa deficit estimate to 99,000 tons in the 2022/23 season from 116,000 tons previously.

* Cocoa prices have risen about 90% this year, with adverse weather in West Africa set to lead to a third successive deficit in the current 2023/24 season (October/September).

* March New York cocoa fell $76, or 1.8%, to $4,201 a ton. (Reporting by Maytaal Angel and Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Jane Merriman and Shailesh Kuber)