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LONDON: New York cocoa hit a nine-month high on Monday as funds continued to buy given tightness in nearby supplies in the physical and futures markets, where stocks are falling. Sugar and coffee also rose. March New York cocoa rose $38, or 1.4%, to $2,747 a tonne by 1507 GMT, after hitting the highest level since late February at $2,774. Data showed ICE Futures US certified stocks remain low at 209,461 60kg bags as of Nov. 20, versus 310,446 bags a year earlier.

The decline in stocks has sparked huge premiums for the December contract versus March, hurting those who had to close out short positions. The tightness has come about in part as US chocolate maker Hershey Co positioned itself to receive a sizeable amount of cheap cocoa from ICE Futures US. New York cocoa speculators switched to a net long of 1,818 contracts in the week to Nov. 17, adding 8,094 contracts, CFTC data showed. Dealers said funds still have plenty of buying firepower, given their relatively small net long position. March London cocoa was up 13 pounds, or 0.7%, at 1,829 pounds a tonne.

March arabica coffee rose 0.9 cents, or 0.8%, to $1.1895 per lb, having slid by 4% on Friday in a retreat from Thursday's two-month high. Arabica remains under pressure from this season's record crop in top producer Brazil as fears over adverse weather receded slightly.

Arabica speculators switched to a net long of 7,623 contracts in the week to Nov. 17, adding 7,927 contracts, CFTC data showed. January robusta coffee rose $5 or 0.4% to $1,391 a tonne. March raw sugar was up 0.08 cents, or 0.5%, at 15.29 cents per lb, having hit 15.66 cents last week for its highest since mid-February.

Sugar remains underpinned by damage to Central America cane fields and a low Indian exports as the market awaits news from Delhi on export subsidies for this season.