SOFTS-ICE sugar edges up towards top of recent price range
* Techincals suggest sugar may be set for short rallies
* Large Indonesian crop keeping lid on robusta gains
* Cocoa turning back on Monday's spike
(Adds detail, quotes, updates prices)
LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE crept higher on Tuesday, building on Monday's gains and approaching the upper end of a recent trading range, driven by technical trading and poor Indian harvest data.
Arabica coffee futures on ICE were up slightly, while cocoa edged lower.
March raw sugar futures on ICE were up 0.03 cent or 0.2 percent to 19.78 cents a lb at 1319 GMT.
Although fundamentally the sugar market remains well supplied, dealers said technicals suggest rallies are possible in the short term.
"We have been below 20.10c for over a month and half now and the downside momentum has slowed with a growing open interest in the fund short position," Nick Penney, analyst at brokerage Sucden, said. "It seems the market may well give us a sell opportunity in the short term."
The sugar harvest in India is down compared to the same point last year, reducing the chance that the world's number one consumer will export any sugar this season.
"There is therefore unlikely to be any noticeable export potential in the current season - in each of the two previous years, over 3.5 million tons had been exported to the global market," Commerzbank said in a note.
However, the bank added it did not expect prices to be pushed up significantly given the ample world supply.
March white sugar on Liffe rose $1.90 or 0.4 percent to $525.30 per tonne.
COFFEE WAITING ON FRESH IMPETUS
March arabica coffee futures were up 0.70 cent or 0.5 percent at $1.5140 per lb. The contract fell to $1.4710 last week, the lowest level for the second month since June 2010.
"Trade is very technical at the moment. There's a feeling that we need fresh impetus on either the technical or the fundamental front," Andrea Thompson, analyst at Coffee Network, part of INTL FCStone, told Reuters.
"Fundamentally for ICE you're just waiting for assessment of the flowering season for Brazil's next crop 13/14," she added.
March robusta coffee futures were up $1 or 0.1 percent at $1,911 a tonne.
"Reports of the Indonesian crop being larger again this year is keeping the upside intact in the robusta market," Thompson said.
Cocoa futures on ICE were lower, with March off $13 or 0.5 percent at $2,506 a tonne moving back on Monday's gains.
Dealers said there was no fundamental reason for Monday's brief rally, with technical buying helping to trigger buy-stops.
Benchmark Liffe March cocoa futures were down 12 pounds or 0.8 percent at 1,579 pounds ($2,500)a tonne. ($1 = 0.6213 British pounds)
(Editing by James Jukwey)