SOFTS-ICE raw sugar falls most in 2 weeks, near 2-1/2-year low
* Raw sugar prices feel pressure from outside markets, global supplies
* Cocoa 2012/13 supply and demand seen close to balanced
* Strong demand for robusta seen by farmers - Volcafe
(New throughout, updates prices, market activity; adds second byline and dateline)
NEW YORK/LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - ICE raw sugar futures fell 2 percent on Friday for their biggest daily drop in two weeks, close to a 2-1/2-year low, and ICE cocoa fell the most in a month, as renewed worry about the global economy sank markets already pressured by ample supplies.
Coffee prices rose, erasing earlier losses.
The entire Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB index declined, as weak economic data out of China and Europe weighed on commodities.
"There's just no interest right now in building inventory. A lot of the commercial (buyers) in the softs feel that luxury items are not a mainstay right now for what the consumer needs both here and abroad," said James Cordier, principal and founder of Liberty Trading Group.
May raw sugar futures on ICE dropped 0.37 cent, or 2 percent, to 18.02 cents per lb at 1:00 p.m. EST (1 800 GMT), the biggest daily drop since Feb. 14.
On Thursday, the March raw sugar contract fell on its final day to just below 18 cents, the lowest level for the front-month contract since August 2010.
The May contract did not fall below 18 cents on its first day as the front month, as the steep drop prompted some buying near the session low.
"As we're getting down towards 18 cents there's some buying coming in," said a London-based broker.
Total sugar deliveries at the expiration of the March sugar contract reached 3,007 contracts, or 152,762 tonnes, ICE Futures U.S. data showed on Friday. Singapore's Wilmar International Ltd is the sole receiver. A senior official at the company said that the company was taking advantage of declines in global prices.
May white sugar on Liffe was down $3.10, or 0.6 percent, at $516.60 a tonne.
SUGAR DECLINES, COFFEE UP
May cocoa futures on ICE sank $53, or 2.5 percent, to settle at $2,082 per tonne, after dropping as low as $2,075, its lowest level since June 2012. It was the second-month's largest fall since Jan. 22.
Dealers said supply and demand was expected to be close to balanced in the 2012/13 season.
May cocoa on Liffe closed down 23 pounds, or 1.6 percent, at 1,406 pounds a tonne, just above last week's 10-month low of 1,403 pounds.
ICE May arabica coffee gained 0.75 cent, or 0.5 percent, to $1.4395 per lb, after trading down earlier in the session.
Dealers said origin selling kept a lid on arabica prices, which remained near their lowest level since June 2010.
"Brazil is still a big seller," said a London-based broker, noting $1.45 was a key resistance level which the market was struggling to break above.
The International Coffee Organization kept its 2012/13 world coffee production estimate at around 145 million 60-kg bags, with damage from the outbreak of roya, a leaf disease threatening South American crops, yet to be quantified, it said in its monthly report published Friday.
In robusta coffee, May futures on Liffe reversed direction after earlier falling and gained $7, or 0.3 percent, to settle at $2,115 a tonne as traders eyed dry weather in top producer Vietnam.
"Dry weather continues and water shortage is rumoured these days, yet it is too early and a bit exaggerated," said Volcafe, the Switzerland-based coffee division of commodity trade house ED&F Man.
Volcafe also said continued strong demand for robusta had strengthened farmers' and local agents' confidence in withholding coffee, helping to keep differentials on the physical market firm.
(Reporting By Chris Prentice; Editing by Alison Birrane and David Cowell)