(Updates with fresh comment, closing prices; adds NEW YORK dateline)
NEW YORK/LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Cocoa prices on ICE Futures U.S. vaulted over five percent on Monday to their highest since early February, as a series of bullish chart signals exaggerated earlier short-covering gains.
Raw sugar dropped, while arabica coffee on ICE rose.
* May New York cocoa CCc1 settled up $103, or 5.12 percent, at $2,116 per tonne after vaulting to a 6-1/2-week high of $2,124. That marked the biggest single-day gain for the front-month CCc1 since May 2012.
* May London cocoa LCCK7 finished up 86 pounds, or 5.26 percent, at 1,722 pounds per tonne after hitting $1,729, the highest for the second-month LCCc2 since late January.
* "The stars aligned, technically, for the cocoa market," said Nick Gentile, managing partner of commodity trading advisor NickJen Capital in New York, referring to bullish chart signals breaking through previous highs and the 40- and 50-day moving averages.
* Farmers said dry, hot weather in several of Ivory Coast's cocoa regions could threaten the approaching mid-crop, although good conditions were reported elsewhere in the world's top producer. A large global surplus is still expected in the current 2016/17 season, with tentative forecasts for another surplus in 2017/18.
* Exporters estimated about 27,000 tonnes of beans were delivered to the two main Ivorian ports between March 13 and March 19, compared with 15,000 tonnes during the same period of last season. May raw sugar futures SBc1 settled down 0.47 cent, or 2.59 percent, at 17.70 cents per lb, coming under additional pressure after prices breached the key 18-cent support level and triggered stop-loss orders.
* Fundamentals remained bearish, with expectations for a surplus in the upcoming 2017/2018 season.
* "Supply side looks good and, on the demand side, until we see some clarity on China and India, we could see prices moving a bit lower," one dealer said.
* The Indian Sugar Mills Association is expected to release fresh production data which should help clarify whether or not it will need imports.
* Egypt's state buyer, the Sugar and Integrated Industries Company (ESIIC), has cancelled a purchase tender for raw sugar, traders said on Monday. Brazil is evaluating a request from the country's sugar and ethanol industry to reinstate a 20 percent import tariff on the biofuel. May white sugar LSUc1 settled down $13.8, or 2.71 percent, at $495.70 per tonne.
* May arabica KCK7 settled up 3.2 cent, or 2.25 percent, at $1.4525 per lb.
* May robusta coffee LRCK7 finished up $12, or 0.55 percent, at $2,196 per tonne.
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