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SOFTS-Sugar, coffee rise as Brazil real hits seven-week high vs dollar

(Recasts; updates prices and market activity; adds comments; adds NEW YORK to dateline) NEW YORK/LONDON, June 4 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE climbed to a five-week high on Tuesday while arabica coffee rose to a fresh four-month high, with both contracts bolstered by a firmer currency in top grower Brazil, which was at its strongest against the U.S. dollar since April.


* July raw sugar settled up 0.23 cent, or 1.9%, at 12.42 cents per lb. Earlier, the contract traded up to an April 26 high of 12.45.

* Prices were supported by a firmer Brazilian real, dealers said. A stronger real can discourage producer selling of dollar-denominated commodities, like sugar and coffee.

* Prices were also up on short-covering, dealers said, with U.S. data from Friday showing that speculators held a massive short position.

* Dry weather in major producer India was also underpinning the market, dealers said. While India typically witnesses water scarcity during the summer, the situation this year is particularly grim.

* The Brazilian government opened the way for ethanol makers to sell the fuel directly to gas stations, without the need to go through fuel distributors, but additional legislation would be required for such sales to begin.

* August white sugar settled up $6, or 1.8%, at $336.80 per tonne, after touching a five-week peak of $338.


* July arabica coffee settled up 1.9 cent, or 1.8%, at $1.0565 per lb, after touching a fresh four-month high of $1.0615.

* The contract has closed higher seven of the past ten sessions.

* The run-up has been fueled by the stronger Brazilian real and concerns about poor weather in the world's top producer, dealers said.

* "Rainfall is expected to stop in Brazil, for now at least. But much of the crop is mature and the amount of semi-washed is likely to come in lower than in recent years despite a growing quality premium," Rabobank said in a market note.

* Still, Brazil exported 3.16 million 60-kg bags of coffee in May, nearly double its May 2018 exports.

* July robusta coffee settled up $4, or 0.3%, at $1,484 per tonne.

* "In May, the arbitrage between arabica and robusta coffees, as measured on the New York and London futures markets, rose by 7.1% to 32.41 US cents/lb, though it still remains below the five-year average of 54.76 US cents/lb," the International Coffee Organization said in a monthly report published on Tuesday.


* July New York cocoa settled up $9, or 0.4%, at $2,360 per tonne, after dipping to a nearly three-week low of $2,307.

* July London cocoa settled up 18 pounds, or 1%, at 1,769 pounds per tonne.

(Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Nigel Hunt in London; editing by Edmund Blair and Chizu Nomiyama)