(Updates throughout, adds latest prices, adds comment; previous LONDON)
NEW YORK/LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - Cocoa futures on ICE rallied on Monday, shrugging off expectations for abundant supplies and turning higher on support from broad-based commodity buying, while arabica coffee jumped after data showed speculators held a record net short position.
The 19-market Thomson Reuters CoreCommodity Index was on track for its strongest one-day rise so far in 2018, as the dollar fell and the U.S. government played down fears of a trade war with China.
* July New York cocoa settled up $55, or 2.2 percent, at $2,553 per tonne, after falling to a two-week low at $2,474.
* The market was buoyed by the weak U.S. dollar and spillover support from strength in larger commodity markets, traders said.
* Above-average rainfall in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions last week produced a wave of flowers and cherelles on trees that point to a healthy mid-crop, farmers said on Monday, while bean arrivals continued to rise.
* The May contract’s discount to July CCK8-N8 widened to as much as $59, the biggest for the contract and a dramatic move from $34 one week prior.
* July London cocoa closed up 34 pounds, or 2 percent, at 1,755 pounds a tonne.
* In stark contrast to the U.S. market, the London May discount to July LCCK8-N8 narrowed to as much as 29 pounds versus 40 pounds two sessions prior.
* May arabica coffee settled up 1.2 cent, or 1 percent, at $1.1865 per lb.
* Short-covering lifted prices in an overall bearish market, traders said, after U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data late on Friday showed speculators increased their net short position to a record..
* “The size of the fund (short) position is monstrous and you will find these modest short covering rallies on the back of it,” one dealer said.
* May robusta coffee settled up $13, or 0.8 percent, at $1,743 per tonne.
* May raw sugar settled up 0.02 cent, or 0.2 percent, at 12.36 cents per lb, hovering above last month’s 2-1/2-year low of 12.18 cents.
* Dealers said that scope for any significant recovery in prices appeared limited, with the market struggling to absorb excess supplies.
* “With lower consumption growth and probably higher productivity growth, and above all with creeping protectionism returning in India and Pakistan in the form of subsidized exports, this chronic surplus will continue indefinitely,” broker Marex Spectron said in a report.
* August white sugar settled down $1.30, or 0.4 percent, at $341.10 per tonne. (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson in New York and Nigel Hunt in London Editing by David Goodman, David Evans and Will Dunham)