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Orange-Juice Futures Jump Most in Five Months

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Orange-juice futures surged the most in five months on mounting concern that dry weather may curb yields in Florida, the world’s second-largest citrus grower. Coffee rose, while cocoa, sugar and cotton dropped.

While Florida will get light rain this week, dry weather will return Feb. 16 and persist through the end of February after groves got below-average precipitation in the past month, according to Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. On Feb. 8, the U.S. government cut its estimate for the state’s crop for the third straight month, partly because of damage from citrus-greening disease.

“We haven’t gotten any real rain in a few weeks,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview. “The lack of precipitation will produce less juice per orange.”

Orange juice for March delivery jumped 5.4 percent to settle at $1.2795 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S., the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Aug. 22. Earlier, the price reached $1.283, the highest since Dec. 28.

Trading volume was more than triple the average of the past 100 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Yields in Florida will average 1.62 gallons per box this season, down from 1.63 gallons a year earlier, the USDA said. A box weighs 90 pounds, or 41 kilograms. Brazil is the world’s top orange grower.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1.4325 a pound on ICE.

Cocoa futures for May delivery slid 0.1 percent to $2,170 a metric ton. Earlier, the commodity touched $2,147, the lowest since June 27.

Raw-sugar futures for delivery in May fell 2.1 percent to 18.07 cents a pound, the biggest drop since Jan. 3.

Cotton futures for delivery in May declined 1.3 percent to 81.81 cents a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marvin G. Perez in New York at mperez71@bloomberg.net

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

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