Orange juice headed for the largest weekly gain since mid-December on signs that a crop disease will reduce output in Florida. Coffee, cotton and sugar also increased, while cocoa was steady.
The bacterial disease, called citrus greening, has already ruined 12 percent of the crop in Florida, the world’s top citrus grower after Brazil, Shawn Hackett, the president of Boynton Beach, Florida-based Hackett Financial Advisors Inc., said in an e-mail. The U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its forecast for the state’s crop twice since October to 142 million boxes, down 3.1 percent from a year earlier.
“It has already been very bad, and it has a long-term tail to it for many more years,” Hackett said.
Orange juice for March delivery jumped 1.5 percent to $1.2145 a pound at 11:32 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, heading for the sixth straight gain. A close at that level would leave prices up 7.1 percent this week, the most since Dec. 14.
Also in New York, arabica-coffee futures for March delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $1.4785 a pound. An industry group in Honduras, the biggest grower in Central America, yesterday cut its forecast for shipments by 20 percent after a fungus damaged crops.
Cotton futures climbed 0.4 percent to 83.31 cents a pound on ICE. Prices surged 10 percent last month, the most since February 2011.
Raw-sugar futures for March delivery gained 0.8 percent to 18.93 cents a pound in New York, while cocoa futures for March delivery were slid less than 0.1 percent to $2,204 a metric ton.
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