SOFTS-Cocoa climbs to three-month highs, arabica coffee at two-month low

(Recasts; updates prices; adds comment, NEW YORK dateline) NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Cocoa futures on ICE rose to their highest in three months on Wednesday, pushing prices near technically overbought territory on concerns that drier-than-normal weather in top grower Ivory Coast could reduce a global surplus. Arabica coffee, meanwhile, fell for the fourth straight session to touch a two-month low.


* In New York, May cocoa settled up $25, or 1.2 percent, at $2,173 per tonne, after rising to $2,175, the highest since Nov. 14. It rose to around 67 on the 14-day relative strength index (RSI), near technically overbought levels.

* In London, May cocoa settled up 22 pounds, or 1.5 percent, at 1,538 pounds per tonne after rising to 1,543 pounds, the highest for the second position since Nov. 30. It rose to around 71 on the RSI, a technically overbought level.

* The market was supported by concerns that adverse weather in Ivory Coast could diminish the outlook for the mid-crop, traders said.

* "That's giving the potential of supply issues and that's why cocoa is up here today," said Peter Mooses, senior market strategist for RJO Futures in Chicago.


* May arabica coffee settled down 0.8 cent, or 0.7 percent, at $1.189 per lb, after dipping to $1.1875, the weakest for the second position since Dec. 12.

* This extended losses further below all moving averages and triggered technical selling, traders said.

* May robusta coffee settled down $4, or 0.2 percent, at $1,766 per tonne.


* May raw sugar settled down 0.02 cent, or 0.2 percent, at 13.27 cents per lb.

* Prices hovered just above last month's seven-month low at 13.17 cents as the market consolidated after falling 11 percent in January on expectations for a global surplus.

* "The market is still dealing with a heavy surplus. But the surplus seems to have been kicked down the 2018 road," said Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Tobin Gorey.

* The premium of the March contract , which expires at the end of this month, over May <SBH8-K8> rose to 0.11 cent from 0.07 cent on Tuesday.

* "The strength in the spread suggests limited availability for the upcoming March expiry," ING said in a market note.

* "Given the strength in domestic ethanol prices in Brazil, the early part of the 2018-19 crush is likely to be heavily ethanol focused, limiting sugar availability at the start of the crop," the bank added.

* May white sugar settled down $1.20, or 0.3 percent, at $356.70 per tonne.

(Reporting by Marcy Nicholson in New York and Nigel Hunt in London; editing by David Evans and G Crosse)