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Orange-Juice Futures Fall as Freeze Concerns Ease in Florida

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Orange-juice futures fell the most in three weeks as cold-weather concerns eased in Florida, the world’s second-largest grower.

Less than 10 percent of Florida’s citrus belt had frost damage after a cold snap yesterday, said Kyle Tapley, a meteorologist at MDA Information Systems Inc. in Rockville, Maryland. “The problem was a little spotty. There wasn’t widespread damage.”

Orange juice for January delivery dropped 3.75 cents, or 2.3 percent, to settle at $1.607 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Nov. 16. In the previous four sessions, the price rallied 10 percent.

The commodity has gained 25 percent this year on supply concerns, and yesterday jumped to $1.667, the highest since May 2007.

“It definitely was an early frost this year, but it looks like the temperatures are going to be safely warming up after tonight,” said Fain Shaffer, the president of Infinity Trading Corp. in Medford, Oregon. Yesterday’s rally may have marked a “short-term high,” he said.

Brazil is the largest orange grower.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie Patton in Chicago at lpatton5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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