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Sugar Futures Fall to 33-Month Low on Brazil Crop Outlook

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Sugar futures fell to the lowest in almost 33 months on speculation that rain will boost crops in Brazil, the world’s top producer. Cotton and orange juice dropped, while coffee and cocoa rose.

Recent precipitation probably will favor sugar yields for a record Brazilian crop, Omar al-Dahhan, a senior trader at Louis Dreyfus Commodities, said at a conference in Geneva. The Center South, the biggest cane-producing region, will get drier weather this week, allowing fieldwork to advance, MDA Information Systems LLC said on April 16.

“Traders remain bearish longer term on ideas that big production will be available to the market as the Brazil harvest is processed and comes to market,” Jack Scoville, a vice president at Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in a report.

Raw sugar for July delivery declined 1 percent to settle at 17.61 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. Earlier, the price touched 17.43 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since July 21, 2010.

Cotton futures for July delivery dropped 1.4 percent to 85.48 cents a pound, the third decline this week.

The China Cotton Association said today that it plans to sell fiber from reserves by the end of July. The country is the world’s top consumer and importer.

The China news “put a cap to yesterday’s technical rally,” Keith Brown, the president of Keith Brown & Co. in Moultrie, Georgia, said in a telephone interview. A slump in equities also drove prices lower, he said.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery tumbled 1.6 percent to $1.461 a pound, the biggest decline in a week.

Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery jumped 2.9 percent to $1.408 a pound, the biggest gain since Jan. 2.

Cocoa futures for July delivery gained 0.1 percent to $2,319 a metric ton, the third straight increase.

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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