(Updates throughout with market comment, closing prices; adds NEW YORK dateline)
NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Cocoa on ICE Futures U.S. fell the most in 1-1/2 weeks on Wednesday, under pressure from gains in the U.S. dollar and from the index fund roll.
Sugar futures jumped as speculators spied opportunity to cover short positions and arabica coffee also rose.
* May New York cocoa settled down $28, or 1.36 percent, at $2,037 per tonne and extended losses to $2,015 in post-settlement trade as the dollar jumped.
* The dollar index rose against a basket of major currencies.
* “The dollar is exploding,” said a U.S. trader of cocoa’s move, noting few bullish fundamental factors in the soft commodities markets.
* March London cocoa settled down 14 pounds, or 0.96 percent, at 1,448 pounds per tonne, with losses more muted due to a weaker pound.
* The currency gyrations boost buying of the sterling-traded contract in favor of its New York counterpart.
* “You’re seeing the pound slip back a little bit against the dollar, which is underpinning London,” said one dealer.
* Market participants were closely monitoring weather in West Africa after recent dryness.
* Olam International Ltd is opening a U.S. cocoa powder plant.
* March raw sugar settled up 0.16 cent, or 1.16 percent, at 14 cents per lb and matched Tuesday’s three-week high of 14.04 cents. Gains on short-covering have been capped by producer selling above 14 cents per lb.
* Speculators took the opportunity to cover short positions amid selling in the front-month by long-only funds. The index funds were rolling out of the front-month benchmark into contracts further along the forward curve.
* March white sugar settled up $3.40, or 0.95 percent, at $361 per tonne.
* The premium of front-month white sugar over raw sugar LSU-SB1=R hit a fresh low at $51.44 per tonne, the weakest since September, indicating depressed processing margins for refiners.
* Prices have been pressured by a looming global supply glut amid expectations for sharply higher production from the European Union, Thailand, Pakistan and India.
* March arabica coffee settled up 0.45 cent, or 0.37 percent, at $1.233 per lb.
* March robusta coffee closed down $18, or 1.00 percent, at $1,786 per tonne.
* The International Coffee Organization on Wednesday raised its forecast for global coffee production in 2017/18 to 158.93 million 60-kg bags, from a previous forecast of 158.78 million.
* A growing number of farmers in Latin American nations renowned for their high-quality arabica coffee are starting to plant cheaper robusta. (Reporting by Chris Prentice in New York and Ana Ionova in London; Editing by Louise Heavens and Chizu Nomiyama)