SOFTS-ICE sugar, coffee edge up, remain near 2-year lows
* Plentiful arabica supplies cap prices
* Brisk pace of sugar exports seen from Brazil
(Adds details, quotes, updates prices)
LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Raw sugar and arabica coffee futures on ICE edged up on Friday but remained close to the lowest levels in more than two years with surplus supplies likely to cap any rebound in prices.
Cocoa futures also rose as dealers monitored the start of Ivory Coast's 2013/14 crop forward sales.
March raw sugar futures on ICE were up 0.10 cent or 0.5 percent to 18.64 cents a lb at 1434 GMT after dipping to 18.31 cents the previous session, the lowest level for the benchmark front month since August 2010.
Dealers said the outlook remained bearish with the third consecutive global surplus likely to push prices lower.
"Short-term any tentative rebound should be capped by the horizontal resistance zone at 19.00 to 19.05. Sugar will reverse downwards towards 18.25/18.20 next," Societe Generale analyst Stephanie Aymes said in a market note.
Dealers said a fast pace of exports from top producer Brazil showed firm demand.
"Demand for Brazilian raws has been strong in the fourth quarter, helped by weaker prices and cheap freight," said Peter de Klerk, analyst at Czarnikow.
"Brazil shipments will be a record for four out of the last five months of this year."
March white sugar on Liffe edged up $0.60 or 0.1 percent at $500.40 per tonne after touching $495.00 on Thursday, the lowest level for the front month since June 2010.
Arabica coffee futures on ICE also struggled to pull away from the prior session's lows, weighed by weak fundamentals following a bumper crop in top producer Brazil.
"Besides a record harvest in Brazil, there is also plentiful supply from other countries in Latin America," said Commerzbank in a daily commodities note.
March arabica coffee futures were up 0.50 cent or 0.35 percent at $1.4410 per lb after dipping to $1.4325 the previous session, the lowest level for the second month since June 2010.
Commerzbank added, however, it expected prices to pick-up over the next few months with a smaller crop in Brazil likely next season - an off-year in its biennial crop cycle.
LOWER ROBUSTA STOCKS
In robusta coffee, certified stocks continued being drawn down, with the latest exchange data showing stocks held in NYSE Liffe nominated warehouses fell to 105,140 tonnes as of Dec. 10, down from 108,490 tonnes on Nov. 26.
Dealers monitored the premium on the front-month January contract over March <LRC-1=R> which has widened in recent sessions, partly due to depleted certified stocks.
"The fact is there's less and less certified stocks and that can push the front-month up," said a European trader.
March robusta coffee futures were up $9 or 0.5 percent at $1,901 a tonne.
In cocoa, March futures on ICE were firm, trading up $14 or 0.6 percent at $2,436 a tonne.
"I think we'll stay within a range but it can still chop around a bit," said a London-based broker, referring to recent volatility.
Dealers said news that Ivory Coast had begun forward sales of its 2013/14 crop was likely to weigh on the market as it signalled sustained selling from the top producer.
"The market is unlikely to rally because everyone is anticipating origin selling around the corner," said the broker.
Liffe March cocoa futures were up 14 pounds or 0.9 percent at 1,544 pounds per tonne.
Valid cocoa stocks in NYSE Liffe's nominated warehouses fell slightly to 48,330 tonnes as of Dec. 10, from 49,170 tonnes on Nov. 26, exchange data showed.
(Additional reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Alison Birrane)