LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - New York cocoa futures rose on Monday to a 15-month high, helped by speculative buying amid expectations for a smaller crop from top grower Ivory Coast, while raw sugar also edged up.
* May New York cocoa was up $25, or 1.1 percent, at $2,338 a tonne at 1207 GMT, after hitting $2,348 a tonne, the highest for the second position since December 2016.
* Prices were supported by further speculative buying after gains on Friday, dealers said, although they noted volumes were thin and the market was technically oversold.
* Speculators raised their net long position in cocoa to a 1-1/2-year high in the week to Feb. 27, exchange data showed.
* Sentiment was also boosted by signs that top grower Ivory Coast is on course to produce less cocoa that previously expected.
* “There are some supply concerns out there revolving around perceived dryness,” said one dealer. “Physical differentials are very high, so there’s obviously a scramble for cocoa.”
* About 20,000 tonnes of beans were delivered to Ivory Coast ports between Feb. 26 and March 4, down from 40,000 tonnes during the same week last season.
* May London cocoa was up 21 pounds, or 1.3 percent, at 1,662 pounds a tonne, after climbing to 1,665 pounds, its highest in 3-1/2 months.
* May raw sugar was up 0.12 cents, or 0.9 percent, at 13.55 cents per lb.
* Prices tumbled on Friday as the speculative short-covering rally that had lifted the market off a 6-1/2-month low ran out of steam.
* Prices recovered some of those losses on Monday, with dealers pointing to light short-covering following the slump.
* Exchange data also showed speculators boosted their bearish position in sugar to a four-week high in the week to Feb. 27.
* However, dealers said the gains were fragile and the market remained vulnerable to selling, as producers were still under-hedged.
* Focus also turned back to India as strong output boosted expectations for a larger-than-expected crop and weaker domestic prices as a result, dealers said.
* “That could cause the government to take action quickly,” Marex Spectron said in a report. “And the only action which would really stabilize the domestic market would be exports.”
* May white sugar rose $2.60, or 0.7 percent, to $365.80 a tonne.
* May robusta coffee fell $3, or 0.2 percent, to $1,748 a tonne.
* May arabica coffee was down 0.70 cent, or 0.6 percent, at $1.2150 per lb. (Reporting by Ana Ionova Editing by Mark Potter)