(Recasts throughout, updates prices, comment; adds NEW YORK to dateline, ICE data)
NEW YORK/LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on ICE rose on Thursday, approaching the prior session's 3-1/2 month high, while sugar and cocoa edged higher, bucking the broader trend in commodities. .TRCCRB
* December arabica coffee KCc1 settled up 1 cent, or 0.9 percent, at $1.129 per lb.
* The front month peaked at $1.1420 on Wednesday, its highest since June 27.
* Prices inched higher in part on short covering, dealers said.
* "There is some short covering but there is reason to be optimistic, as you do have the potential for a tight situation as we move into mid-2019," said Steve Platt, futures strategist at Archer Financial Services.
* "The market was overdone on the downside, and now we're starting to see the historic short spec position roll out of those positions," said Platt.
* Coffee farmers in top grower Brazil sold 51 percent of their record-large 2018 crop by Oct. 9 compared to 53 percent at this time last season, Safras & Mercado consultancy said. January robusta coffee LRCc2 settled up $1, or 0.1 percent, at $1,699 per tonne.
* Coffee bean sales in Vietnam and Indonesia picked up this week on the recovery in global prices, while the main harvest is awaited next month in Vietnam, traders said. March raw sugar SBc1 settled up 0.07 cent, or 0.5 percent, at 12.92 cents per lb.
* "At first, sugar was battered down by the tumble in stock markets but has since recovered," said Judy Ganes, president of J Ganes Consulting. "The losses in Brazil are offsetting the bearishness of the India situation. On balance, the situation hasn't been quite as bearish as people had expected."
* Sugar output in the latter half of September declined sharply in top grower Brazil as more cane was diverted to ethanol production. Still, the EU's top sugar producer, Suedzucker, called the outlook for the sugar segment "very uncertain." Open interest in sugar fell for the eighth straight session to a new 10-month low of 746,569 lots on Wednesday, ICE data show.
* "It's not really that bullish when the market is going up and open interest is going down," said one U.S. trader.
* December white sugar LSUc1 settled up $6.40, or 1.8 percent, at $362.90 per tonne.
* The whites premium LSU-SB1=R has strengthened over the last few days, boosting the profitability of refining.
* December New York cocoa CCc1 settled up $9, or 0.4 percent, at $2,097 per tonne.
* December London cocoa LCCc1 settled up 7 pounds, or 0.5 percent, at 1,552 pounds a tonne.
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