* Speculators boost net long position in raw sugar

* Rain slows Brazil's centre-south cane crush

By David Brough

LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - ICE raw sugar futures steadied on Monday as dealers took stock of an increased net long position held by speculators, while arabica coffee dipped, trading near one-month lows on forecasts for rains in Brazil.

Cocoa inched higher, underpinned by larger than initially anticipated grindings in Asia, a signal of demand.

ICE March raw sugar was up 0.04 cent, or 0.3 percent, at 14.32 cents per pound at 1133 GMT, having fallen sharply late in Friday's session after touching 14.73 cents, the highest since Feb. 20.

"The market had gone up so far so fast, a retracement was inevitable," said Robin Shaw, sugar analyst with Marex Spectron.

Sugar futures have surged as the global market showed signs of shifting into deficit after years of surpluses.

Bullish sentiment has been compounded by rains slowing the cane crush in the centre-south of Brazil. Brazil is the world's top sugar producer and exporter.

Speculators boosted their net long positions in raw sugar and cotton on ICE Futures U.S. in the week ended Oct. 20, and trimmed bearish bets in arabica coffee contracts, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

"With the fund net long position so large, who is left to buy it for the time being?" Shaw said.

Analyst Green Pool said in its latest weekly report, "There is strong price support below the market."

December white sugar was up $0.30, a 0.1 percent gain, at $384.20 per tonne.

December arabica coffee was down 0.55 cent, or 0.5 percent, at $117.90 per pound, having on Friday touched $1.1755, its lowest level since Sept. 24 as recent rains brought relief after a dry spell that threatened to damage the flowering of Brazil's crop.

January robusta coffee futures were down $8, or 0.5 percent, at $1,550 per tonne, after touching a three-week low of $1,545.

December New York cocoa futures were up $14, a 0.5 percent gain, at $3,139 per tonne, while March London cocoa was up by 9 pounds, a 0.4 percent gain, at 2,141 pounds per tonne.

Traders said the market was supported by last week's data showing Asia's third quarter grind fell 1.6 percent year-on-year, below market expectations for a decline of about 5 percent. (Editing by William Hardy)

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