Orange Juice Extends Rally on Dry Florida Weather; Cocoa Gains
Orange juice rose for the seventh time in eight sessions as dry weather hurts citrus crops already damaged by disease in Florida, the world’s top grower after Brazil. Cocoa, coffee and sugar gained, while cotton slid.
In the past month, rainfall in Florida’s citrus belt has been as low as 5 percent of the average amount, according to MDA Information Systems Inc. The U.S. government will probably reduce its estimate for the state’s crop as a bacterial plant disease known as citrus greening cuts yields, said John Ortelle, a vice president at McKeany-Flavell Co.
“Fruit drop continues to be higher than normal,” Oakland, California-based Ortelle said in an e-mail.
Orange juice for March delivery advanced 1.6 percent to $1.223 a pound at 11:21 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Through yesterday, prices climbed 2.6 percent this year.
On Jan. 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its outlook for Florida’s orange crop by 2.7 percent to 142 million boxes. The agency may lower its forecast to 136 million in its next crop report on Feb. 8, Ortelle said.
Also in New York, cocoa futures for March delivery rose 2.1 percent to $2,239 a metric ton. That’s the largest gain among 24 commodities in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.
Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery climbed 0.3 percent to $1.448 a pound in New York. In the year starting Oct. 1, consumption may exceed supplies by 2 million bags after a surplus this season, according to Shawn Hackett, the president of Hackett Financial Advisors.
Raw-sugar futures for March delivery advanced 0.4 percent to 18.81 cents a pound on ICE, while cotton futures for March delivery fell 0.5 percent to 81.32 cents a pound.
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