SOFTS-Arabica coffee falls further from 2-year high, cocoa jumps
* Arabica drops 7.1 pct in 2 sessions
* March Liffe cocoa expiry sees 37,350 tonnes tendered
* Sugar back on defensive after Brazil-driven rally (New throughout, updates closing prices; adds trade comment, second byline, NEW YORK dateline)
By Marcy Nicholson and Nigel Hunt
NEW YORK/LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on ICE dropped for the second straight day on Monday, its biggest two-day tumble in 2-1/2 years, as a forecast for widespread rain in top grower Brazil's coffee belt took out some of the market's weather premium.
Cocoa on ICE Futures U.S. and Liffe climbed to 2-1/2-year highs in thin dealings, on support from rising demand combined with the prospect of a second consecutive global deficit in 2013/14. Raw sugar futures fell to a three-week low.
May arabica coffee futures on ICE settled down 7.00 cents, or 3.5 percent, at $1.9140 per lb, after earlier dipping to a low of $1.8880. The contract has dropped 7.1 percent in the past two sessions, the biggest two-day drop since September 2011.
Brazilian meteorologist Somar said only light rain is expected in coffee areas this week, but widespread rain should reach coffee areas between March 22-26.
Crop damage is widely expected in Brazil's biggest arabica growing region Minas Gerais, after a drought was followed by below average rain during the critical period when the beans are developing on trees. This pushed the futures market up 80 percent in less than seven weeks to a two-year high at $2.0975 last week, their biggest such rally in nearly 20 years. Continuación...