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Orange-Juice Futures Rise on Florida Outlook; Cocoa Gains

Orange-juice futures rose on speculation that the U.S. government will reduce its estimate for Florida’s crop for the fifth straight month. Cocoa and sugar gained, while coffee and cotton slid.

Tomorrow, the Department of Agriculture may trim its estimate for Florida’s orange output by 0.7 percent to 137.97 million boxes from a month earlier because of drought and a bacterial disease called citrus greening, according to the average in a Bloomberg News survey of seven analysts. The state is the world’s second-biggest citrus grower.

“The lack of moisture is becoming more of an ongoing problem, and if the situation does not change soon, we will see much larger production cutbacks,” Arthur Liming, a futures specialist at Citigroup Inc. in Chicago, said in a report. “The next concern is how much loss the crop will take from citrus greening.”

Orange juice for May delivery climbed 1.5 percent to settle at $1.4765 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. On April 5, the price reached $1.484, the highest for a most-active contract in almost a year.

Brazil is the top orange grower. A box weighs 90 pounds, or 41 kilograms.

Cocoa futures for July delivery rose 1.2 percent to $2,233 a metric ton on ICE. Earlier, the price reached $2,237, the highest in two months.

Raw-sugar futures for July delivery increased 0.2 percent to 17.72 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery declined 0.4 percent to $1.354 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $1.347, the lowest since March 25.

Cotton futures for May delivery slumped 0.9 percent to 84.64 cents a pound. Earlier, the fiber touched 84.38 cents, the lowest since March 1.

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