(Includes closing prices, adds comments)
NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 3 (Reuters) - White sugar futures on ICE (NYSE: ICE ) closed slightly lower on Wednesday, easing back after reaching a near four-year peak in the prior session, while New York cocoa futures lost 2.8% amid a negative market outlook.
* March white sugar LSUc1 fell $1, or 0.2%, to $462.60 a tonne. The front-month contract had climbed to a peak of $470.40 on Tuesday, its highest since April 2017.
* Dealers said the market was consolidating after a recent run-up but it remained underpinned by nearby supply tightness.
* Commerzbank (DE: CBKG ) said in a market note that robust physical demand coupled with a shortage of containers in countries such as India had created tightness in the physical market.
* "This is prompting customers who need sugar urgently to seek it on the exchange. Furthermore, production is disappointing in regions like Thailand and the EU, which are conventional white sugar suppliers," the bank added.
* March raw sugar SBc1 fell 0.25 cent to 16.04 cents per lb.
* March New York cocoa CCc1 settled down $72, or 2.8%, to $2,527 a tonne, with the front month's premium CC-1=R also weakening to around $86 from about $100 at the close on Tuesday.
* Dealers noted the front month's premium had led to more cocoa being graded, with certified stocks rising to 259,930 bags as of Feb. 2, up from 179,040 bags a week earlier.
* Analysts expect a substantial global surplus in the current 2020/21 season as the COVID-19 pandemic curbs demand.
* March London cocoa LCCc1 settled down 41 pounds, or 2.3%, to 1,722 pounds per tonne.
* Dealers said the outlook remains favourable to robusta beans, as the slow reopening in many parts of the world boosts home consumption of instant coffee, which is usually produced with robusta beans.
* There was also an expectation for reduced robusta exports from Brazil in 2021 as local roasters will be inclined to increase the share of robustas in their blends since arabica is seen falling.
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