SOFTS-ICE cocoa rises on crop concerns, coffee also up
* Speculative long positions on cocoa remain large
* Coffee harvest in Brazil gathering pace
* Raw sugar market breaks losing steak
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LONDON, July 9 (Reuters) - Cocoa futures on ICE rose on Tuesday, boosted by concerns that dry weather West Africa in June may have curtailed prospects for the main crop later this year. Raw sugar and arabica coffee also edged higher.
September cocoa on ICE rose $13 or 0.55 percent to $2,186 a tonne by 1109 GMT. The contract climbed to $2,250 on Friday, the highest level for the second month since mid-June.
"Weather issues are coming back to the fore. Recent pod counting results indicate some dry weather risks for the new season main crop, and July-August rainfall patterns will need to be watched closely," Macquarie analyst Kona Haque said.
Haque noted in a market update that speculators were holding large net long positions in cocoa on both ICE and Liffe.
"Although speculators are still holding onto a worryingly large net length, we could find ready buyers amongst grinders, should they decide to sell," she added.
September cocoa on Liffe rose 17 pounds or 1.1 percent to 1,525 pounds ($2,300) a tonne.
BRAZIL COFFEE CROP
Arabica coffee futures on ICE edged higher as the market continued to consolidate just above last month's four-year low.
ICE September arabicas were up 0.75 cent, or 0.6 percent, at $1.2420 per lb. The contract set a four-year low of 1.1710 cents a lb, basis second month, on June 20.
"The coffee market is focusing on the Brazilian harvest, which has now commenced in earnest after some rain delays last month," Macquarie's Haque said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in late June estimated this year's coffee crop in Brazil at 53.7 million 60-kg bags, down from last year's 56.1 million but still a huge harvest for an off-year in the biennial crop cycle.
Liffe September robusta coffee was up $36, or 2.0 percent, at $1,858 a tonne.
Raw sugar futures on ICE were also higher, with October up 0.05 cent or 0.3 percent at 16.38 cents a lb.
Dealers said the market had broken a losing streak on Monday, finishing higher following seven consecutive lower closes. Abundant supplies continued to weigh on sentiment.
"Traded volumes were extremely thin, signalling a lack of conviction in the move ... Most market news remains bearish," Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Luke Mathews said.
October raw sugar on ICE was up 0.03 cent or 0.2 percent at 16.36 cents per lb while August white sugar on Liffe was up $2.00 or 0.4 percent, at $498.00 a tonne. ($1 = 0.6695 British pounds)
(Additional reporting by David Brough; editing by Jane Baird)