SOFTS-NY cocoa weakens, sugar and arabica coffee hold above lows

(Adds comment, updates prices)

LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) - New York cocoa futures were lower on Friday as prices moved towards the lower end of the recent trading band while raw sugar and arabica coffee were hovering above recent lows.


* May New York cocoa was down $26, or 1.0 percent, at $2,482 a tonne by 1406 GMT.

* The front month set a 1-1/2 year high of $2,647 a tonne on Monday before retreating to a two-week low of $2,433 on Thursday.

* Dealers said improving crop prospects in Ivory Coast had tempered bullish sentiment although the strength of buying around Thursday's low suggested the market may be set for a period of consolidation.

* "As things stand ... you would be forgiven for thinking the market may be creating somewhat of a $200 range," INTL FCStone in Singapore said in a market note.

* May London cocoa was down 10 pounds, or 0.6 percent, at 1,718 pounds a tonne.


* May raw sugar was up a marginal 0.01 cent at 12.36 cents per lb as the market continued to hover just above last week's 2-1/2 year low of 12.18 cents.

* "The bullishly inclined are focusing on the lack of follow through selling in both London (whites) and especially NY (raws) and the size of the spec net and gross short positions," said James Liddiard of consultancy Agrilion.

* Liddiard said, however, the market was keeping a close watch on Brazil's real currency and any renewed weakness could trigger more selling by producers.

* Dealers said fundamentals remained bearish with the market set for global surpluses in both 2017/18 and 2018/19.

* Brazil's sugarcane industry on Thursday took aim at policies undertaken by Pakistan and India to protect local producers and boost sugar exports, arguing those measures could further depress global prices.

* May white sugar, which expires at the end of next week, was unchanged at $350.20 a tonne.


* May arabica coffee was up 0.30 cent, or 0.3 percent, at $1.1785 per lb. The front month fell to a low of $1.1595 on Wednesday, its weakest since June.

* Dealers said the prospect of a large crop in Brazil this season remained the main bearish factor with farmers selling old-crop stocks ahead of the harvest.

* May robusta coffee was down $8 at $1,751 a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt Editing by Louise Ireland and David Evans)