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SOFTS-Arabica climbs on short covering, sugar hovers above lows

(Adds quotes, updates prices)

LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on ICE rose on Monday, rebounding from last week's nine-month low, while raw sugar futures were hovering just above a recent 2-1/2 year low set in late March.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee was up 1.25 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $1.1870 per lb at 1328 GMT.

* Dealers saw the move as a short covering rally in an overall bearish market.

* The front month fell to a low of $1.1595 last week, its weakest since June.

* Speculators increased their net short position in arabica coffee contracts on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to April 3, lifting it to a record as prices fell to a nine-month low, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

* "The size of the fund (short) position is monstrous and you will find these modest short covering rallies on the back of it," one dealer said.

* Producer selling may, however, limit the scope for any significant rebound in prices.

* "We haven't seen the end of this downtrend in New York (arabica)," the dealer added.

* May robusta coffee was up $12 at $1,742 a tonne.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar was unchanged at 12.34 cents per lb as the market continued to hover just above a 2-1/2 year low of 12.18 cents set on March 28.

* Dealers said that scope for any significant recovery in prices appeared limited, with the market struggling to absorb excess supplies.

"With lower consumption growth and probably higher productivity growth, and above all with creeping protectionism returning in India and Pakistan in the form of subsidized exports, this chronic surplus will continue indefinitely," broker Marex Spectron said in a report on Monday.

* May white sugar, which expires on Friday, fell by $0.20, or 0.1 percent, to $348.50 a tonne.

* India is likely to provide financial support to cane farmers for produce sold to sugar mills, two government sources said, in a rare move to subsidize the industry which is reeling under a glut and struggling to export because of low global prices.

COCOA

* July New York cocoa was up $24, or 1.0 percent, at $2,422 a tonne.

* Dealers said the market was beginning to advance again after testing support at the bottom of its recent range.

* July London cocoa was up 11 pounds, or 0.6 percent, at 1,732 pounds a tonne. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt Editing by David Goodman and David Evans)