SOFTS-Raw sugar, arabica coffee pull away from lows

(Adds quotes, updates prices)

LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) - Raw sugar and arabica coffee futures on ICE were higher on Thursday, boosted partly by a strengthening in the currency of Brazil, the top producer of both commodities.

A firmer Brazil real reduces dollar-denominated prices in local currency terms and can curb producer selling.


* May raw sugar was up 0.09 cent, or 0.7 percent, at 12.36 cents per lb at 1355 GMT with the market edging away from last week's 2-1/2 year low of 12.18 cents.

* Dealers continued to keep a close watch on trade tensions between the United States and China.

* "One of the short-term potential bullish arguments is what would happen in a larger risk off environment which prompts speculators to reduce their positions," said James Liddiard of consultancy Agrilion, noting speculators would then be buying to cover a net short position.

* Rising production in India and Thailand has helped to drive down prices.

* "It is also hard to ignore the fundamental situation with an increasing number of analysts now increasing their Indian production forecast north of 30 million tonnes," Liddiard said.

* May white sugar was unchanged at $351.20 a tonne.

* The European Commission forecast on Thursday that white sugar production in the EU would fall 3 percent in 2018/2019 to 20.4 million tonnes, after a nearly 25 percent rise the previous year when producers were encouraged by the end of quotas in the bloc.


* May arabica coffee was up 1.00 cent, or 0.9 percent at $1.1790 per lb. The front month fell to a low of $1.1595 on Wednesday, its weakest since June.

* Dealers said prices for the front month were supported by a rolling forward of fund short positions from the May to the July contract.

* May robusta coffee rose $8 at $1,763 a tonne.

* Vietnam, the world's top robusta producer, is expected to export 100,000 to 140,000 tonnes (1.7-2.3 million 60-kg bags) of coffee in April, traders said on Thursday.


* May London cocoa was down 1 pound, or 0.1 percent, at 1,724 pounds a tonne.

* Dealers noted CCC data issued on Wednesday put Ivory Coast port arrivals at 1.48 million tonnes by March 25, significantly above an exporters' estimate issued last week by Reuters of 1.35 million.

* The data reinforced expectations that the Ivory Coast will have a large crop this year, albeit slightly below the prior season's record.

* May New York cocoa was up $15, or 0.6 percent, at $2,490 a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt, editing by David Evans and Adrian Croft)