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J M Smucker hikes coffee prices after arabica surge

NEW YORK, June 3 (Reuters) - J M Smucker Co will increase most packaged coffee prices in the United States by an average of 9 percent following the near doubling in arabica prices since the start of the year, it said on Tuesday.

The move by Smucker, which is considered a trend setter by the industry, is likely to trigger price hikes by other major coffee roasters as they seek to protect profits from the soaring bean prices.

Arabica prices have nearly doubled this year and hit their highest price in more than two years in April on concerns that Brazil's worst drought in decades would damage crops in the world's biggest producer.

(Reporting by Josephine Mason, Editing by Franklin Paul)