SOFTS-Liffe cocoa rises as dry weather sparks crop fears
* Producer selling helps stall advance in sugar prices
* Sugar and coffee traders monitor frost threat in Brazil
* Dry weather in West Africa fuels buying in cocoa market
(Adds quotes, updates prices)
LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Cocoa futures on Liffe rose on Wednesday, supported by concerns about dry weather in top grower Ivory Coast, while ICE coffee recouped most of the prior session's steep losses, and ICE sugar was little changed.
December cocoa in London rose 25 pounds or 1.5 percent to 1,663 pounds ($2,600) a tonne by 1435 GMT. The contract peaked at 1,671 pounds last week, the highest level for the second month since September 2012.
Dealers said large speculative net long positions in cocoa left the market susceptible to a substantial fall if the dry weather concerns prove to be overstated.
"Spec length is massive, and the (dry weather) story is at best slightly interesting," one London dealer said, adding that while the dry season started a little earlier than normal this year, soil moisture levels appeared adequate at the moment.
Reports on positions in both Liffe and ICE cocoa in the last few days have shown speculators increasing already large net long positions.
Dealers said origin selling from both Ivory Coast and Ghana was helping to keep a lid on prices.
"Ivory Coast and Ghana have been selling, and I think they will continue. It is a very good price for them," one London dealer said.
December cocoa futures on ICE rose $53 or 2.2 percent to $2,511 a tonne.
Raw sugar futures on ICE were little changed as the market's recent run-up was beginning to lose momentum.
October raw sugar on ICE was off 0.01 cent or 0.06 percent at 17.24 cents a lb. The contract climbed to a peak of 17.29 cents on Tuesday, the highest level for the front month since June 25.
"I think some of the producers are selling at this price level," said Jonathan Kingsman, head of agriculture at data provider Platts.
Dealers continued to keep a close watch on the weather in top producer Brazil, with the state of Parana facing the potential for frost later this week before temperatures begin to climb. No significant damage is expected, however, at this stage.
"I think the frost alert has been helping. The fact that the weather can still play some tricks on the crop and the harvest pushed the market up," Kingsman said.
October white sugar on Liffe was up $1.50 or 0.3 percent at $504.70 a tonne.
Arabica coffee futures on ICE rose sharply, clawing back the bulk of the prior session's steep losses.
December arabica coffee futures rose 2.85 cents or 2.3 percent to $1.2585 per lb. The contract fell more than 3 cents on Tuesday.
Robusta coffee futures on Liffe were also higher with November up $15 or 0.8 percent at $1,923 a tonne.
"There's a little bit of industry buying around. Roasters are buying second quarter next year," one dealer said. ($1 = 0.6468 British pounds)
(Additional reporting by Silvia Antonioli and Sarah McFarlane; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Baird)