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SOFTS-Arabica coffee rises to highest since 2017; sugar also up

(Recasts, adds closing prices and comments)

NEW YORK/LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on ICE hit the highest price in three years and eight months on Monday, buoyed by the prospect of tightening supplies in coming months and a stronger Brazilian currency, while raw sugar prices also rose.

COFFEE

* July arabica coffee settled up 4.9 cents, or 3.6%, at $1.4175 per lb, after peaking at $1.4415, the highest for the benchmark second month since August 2017.

* Dealers said Brazil was set to harvest a smaller crop this year while demand was expected to revive in the United States and Europe as COVID-19 restrictions are gradually eased and coffee shops reopen for normal business.

* Starbucks Corp is expected to report record high second-quarter revenue as speedy vaccinations in the U.S. and China make customers more comfortable with returning to their morning coffee runs.

* A stronger Brazilian currency, trading at a two-month peak against the dollar, was also seen by dealers as supporting the market as it deters producer selling.

* July robusta coffee settled up $24, or 1.7%, at $1,440 a tonne.

SUGAR

* May raw sugar settled up 0.26 cent, or 1.5%, at 17.17 cents per lb after peaking at 17.24 cents, its highest since Feb. 26. The contract expires on Friday.

* Dealers said the release by industry group UNICA of cane and sugar production data for the Centre-South of Brazil this week would provide a short-term focus as the market seeks to assess the situation.

* The data will cover the first half of April.

* Weather remained drier-than-normal in most of Brazil cane areas in April, possibly hurting plant development.

* August white sugar settled up $4.30, or 0.9%, at $465.50 a tonne.

COCOA

* July New York cocoa settled up $37, or 1.5%, to $2,487 a tonne.

* The global cocoa market is heading to a small deficit of 8,000 tonnes in the 2021/22 season, from a 123,000 tonne surplus in the previous season, due to stronger consumption and drier-than-normal weather in West Africa, Rabobank forecast.

* Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast reached 1.846 million tonnes by April 25 since the start of the season on Oct. 1, up 7.5% from 1.718 million tonnes over the same period last season.

* July London cocoa settled up 7 pounds, or 0.4%, to 1,654 pounds per tonne. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira and Nigel Hunt, Editing by Marguerita Choy and Susan Fenton)

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