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SOFTS-Arabica coffee prices fall, raw sugar rises

prompting some short-covering, dealers said.

(Recasts throughout; updates prices, adds market activity, comments, NEW YORK dateline) NEW YORK/LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on ICE fell on Monday, approaching last week's 13-year low as the market struggled to absorb excess supplies, while raw sugar prices rose to their highest in more than two weeks.

COFFEE

* May arabica coffee settled down 0.95 cent, or 1 percent, at 96.85 cents per lb, after trading in light volumes for the second consecutive session.

* Earlier, the contract traded as low as 96.30 cents per lb., closing in on last week's 13-year low of 94.65 cents.

* Prices have been weighed down by excess global supplies, especially in top-grower Brazil, which harvested a record-large crop last year.

* Brazil's production outlook for this year also appears favorable, even though it will be an off-year in the country's biennial crop cycle.

* May robusta coffee was unchanged from the previous session and settled at $1,485 a tonne.

* In the previous session, the contract fell to a two-year low of $1,463, also pressured by plentiful global supplies.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar settled up 0.32 cent, or 2.6 percent, at 12.84 cents per lb, after peaking at 12.87, its highest since March 1.

* Data released on Friday, showing speculators held a larger-than-expected net short position, was supporting futures

* Speculators sharply increased their net short position in raw sugar on ICE Futures U.S. to a five-month high in the week to March 12, U.S. government data showed.

* The strength of the energy market continued to support sugar, as higher oil prices encourage Brazilian cane mills to produce more ethanol rather than sugar.

* Potential exports from India kept a lid on prices, though a small global deficit is generally expected in 2019-20.

* India's sugar output is expected at 32.6 million tonnes in the year that began on Oct. 1, 2018, the All India Sugar Trade Association said, up from a previous estimate of 31.5 million tonnes.

* May white sugar settled up $6, or 1.8 percent, at $346.70 per tonne.

COCOA

* May New York cocoa settled down $1, or 0.1 percent, at $2,196 per tonne.

* Cocoa arrivals at Ivorian ports reached 1.627 million tonnes between Oct. 1 and March 17, exporters estimated on Monday, up about 11 percent year on year.

* Showers in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa regions last week augured well for the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said, despite concerns over below-average rainfall in the country's center.

* May London cocoa settled down 2 pounds, or 0.1 percent, at 1,654 pounds per tonne.

(Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Nigel Hunt in London; Editing by Richard Chang)