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SOFTS-Raw sugar futures rise while white sugar falls

(Recasts throughout; updates prices, comments; adds NEW YORK to dateline) NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE rose on Tuesday to their highest level in a week, supported by gains in crude oil, while March white sugar set a four-month low ahead of the contract's expiry.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar settled up 0.18 cent, or 1.4 percent, at 12.85 cents per lb after touching a one-week high of 12.92.

* Oil rose more than 2 percent as OPEC readied more supply cuts.

* Higher oil prices encourage increased use of cane in Brazil to make biofuel ethanol rather than sugar, and can therefore curb output of the sweetener.

* Ethanol stocks in Brazil were at 7.29 billion liters in mid-January, their highest since 2015, according to data from the agriculture ministry.

* The prospect of exports from India in coming weeks continued to keep a lid on the market and helped keep prices range-bound, dealers said.

* The March contract's premium over May <SBH9-K9> widened to as much as 0.22 cent.

* "The Brazilian crush is going to get off to a late start, so producers want to roll forward ... They want to hold on to the sugar they have instead of putting it to the tape. They want some sugar to deliver against May," one U.S. trader said.

* March white sugar settled down 50 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $325.80 a tonne after setting a four-month low of $323.40.

* March's discount to May had widened further ahead of the former contract's expiry on Wednesday, indicating little appetite to take delivery, dealers said.

COFFEE

* March arabica coffee settled up 0.25 cent, or 0.2 percent, at $1.0045 per lb after dropping to a five-week low of 99.85 cents the previous session.

* Prices fell on Monday in part on weakness in the currency of top grower Brazil, which encourages producer selling.

* Though the real recovered on Tuesday, erasing the previous session's losses, arabica failed to rebound at the same pace.

* "The real is stronger and we're still trading (arabica) near a dollar. That's not constructive for the bulls," said one U.S. trader.

* The strong pace of Brazilian exports was keeping the market on the defensive, dealers said.

* Arabica prices will rise by the end of 2019 as the world swings into deficit, a Reuters poll showed.

* May robusta coffee settled up $7, or 0.5 percent, at $1,535 per tonne.

COCOA

* May London cocoa settled up 2 pounds, or 0.1 percent, at 1,708 pounds per tonne.

* May New York cocoa settled up $5, or 0.2 percent, at $2,270 per tonne.

(Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Nigel Hunt in London Editing by Mark Heinrich and Matthew Lewis)