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Evening markets: coffee leads softs back to earth

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Chicago grains weren't the only food commodities which ended the week on a sour note.

With oil, a flagship commodity, trading lower too, even a modestly weaker dollar and positive stockmarket couldn't help soft commodities out, with coffee slumping 6.5% in London.

"It's almost as if the external markets are pausing for thought after what's been a fantastic rally up until the last couple of weeks this year in every commodity," an analyst told Reuters, the news agency.

"People are now standing back and pinching themselves saying 'have we maybe got over-enthusiastic on the expectation of a quick end to the recession?'"

Bitter coffee

Orange juice, which on Thursday pulled out of a 12-day losing streak, went back to its old ways, closing 0.35 cents lower at 77.55 cents a pound in New York.

Many investors were betting on hurricanes disrupting production in Florida, the centre of US citrus production, but serious storms have yet to appear.

Still, investors long in juice on Friday may be glad they weren't in coffee, which plunged $95 to $1,370 a tonne in London for September robusta beans on concerns of abundant supplies.

New York's arabica beans fared better, losing 2.7 cents to 120.15 cents a pound.

Cocoa lost ground on both sides of the Atlantic too, off 1.5% at $2,518 a tonne for New York's September contract and down 2.1% at �1,601 a tonne in London, where stronger sterling kicked in.

Perky pigs

Indeed, livestock markets proved better at attracting investors, with Chicago lean hogs for July soaring 2.7% to 61.60 cents a pound as funds covered shorts amid some hope of improving sentiment.

A US hogs report next week is expected to show cuts to breeding numbers.

July pork bellies rose 1.0% to $60.00 a pound in sympathy.


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