SOFTS-ICE coffee, sugar rebound but excess supplies cap upside
* ICE coffee, sugar may consolidate in the short-term
* Strike in Brazil port Santos disrupts loading of sugar
* Forward selling by Ghana keeps lid on cocoa prices
(Adds quotes, updates prices)
LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - ICE coffee and sugar futures rose on Friday as both markets consolidated above recent multi-year lows, but the scope for any significant rebound in prices was capped by surplus supplies, dealers and analysts said.
Cocoa futures also edged higher, boosted partly by overall strength in the commodity sector.
Dealers said the long-term downtrend in arabica coffee prices remained intact as the market continues to struggle to absorb excess supplies.
May arabica coffee futures on ICE rose 1.15 cents or 1.2 percent to $1.4290 per lb, extending its rebound from a more than 2-1/2 year low of $1.3760 per lb set on Tuesday.
"If we look at the short-term indicators we are oversold. I wouldn't be surprised if we have a brief period of consolidation," said Sucden Finiancial analyst Jack Pollard.
"But we remain below all the medium- to longer-term moving averages and the volume and open interest (trends) are confirming the (downward) move so I would expect the consolidation to be temporary," he added.
Arabica coffee prices have been falling since May 2011 when they peaked at more than $3.00 per lb and Pollard said price charts indicated the next significant support was around $1.28 to $1.30 per lb, a band last reached in March 2010.
Retail prices have also fallen although the decline has been much more modest.
Major U.S. roaster Kraft Foods Group Inc. followed the maker of Folgers coffee on Thursday, and cut the price of its flagship coffee brand Maxwell House.
Robusta coffee futures on Liffe also rose on Friday, boosted by strong demand, with May up $14 or 0.7 percent at $2,083 a tonne.
Robustas from top producer Vietnam changed hands at smaller discounts to London futures this week on rising demand from trading houses, while strong demand from local roasters put a premium on prices in Indonesia, dealers said.
Certified coffee stocks held in NYSE Liffe nominated warehouses rose to 113,090 tonnes as of Feb. 18 from 102,410 tonnes on Feb. 4, exchange data showed.
Raw sugar futures on ICE were also higher, but remained in a long-term downtrend weighed by surplus supplies.
Dealers were keeping a close watch on a port strike in top producer Brazil.
Loading of sugar at Brazil's Copersucar terminal at the port of Santos was stopped on Friday due to a six-hour strike by port workers, according to a Reuters reporter in Santos.
A government minister said, however, another six-hour strike planned for Tuesday had been called off.
March raw sugar futures on ICE stood 0.06 cent or 0.3 percent higher at 18.18 cents per lb. The contract fell to 17.87 cents last week, the lowest level for the front month since August 2010.
Excess supplies continued to cap rallies.
"The only thing that can drive prices higher from here would be maybe macro sentiment. We are not expecting this to come from fundamentals," said Andrey Kryuchenkov, analyst at VTB Capital.
The International Sugar Organization on Thursday forecast a global sugar surplus of 8.526 million tonnes in 2012/13, up from 6.479 million tonnes in 2011/12.
May white sugar on Liffe rose $5.40 or 1.1 percent at $503.40 a tonne.
Cocoa futures on ICE were also higher with May up $16 or 0.75 percent at $2,149 a tonne while May cocoa futures on Liffe stood 8 pounds or 0.6 percent higher at 1,436 pounds a tonne.
Dealers said forward selling, particularly by Ghana, was helping to keep a lid on the market.
Valid cocoa stocks in NYSE Liffe's nominated warehouses rose to 57,250 tonnes as of Feb. 18, from 42,920 tonnes on Feb. 4, exchange data showed.
(Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Alison Birrane)