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Orange-Juice Futures Fall as Rain May Boost Florida Crop

April 26 (Bloomberg) -- Orange-juice futures fell the most in five weeks on speculation that rain in Florida, the world’s second-biggest citrus grower, will ease dry conditions. Coffee tumbled, while cocoa, cotton and sugar rose.

Florida’s growing regions will get “substantial” widespread rains next week, Joel Widenor, the director of agricultural services at Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a telephone interview. Precipitation in April is running above 30-year averages in about three-quarters of the citrus belt, he said.

“This is somewhat bearish,” Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Inc. in Chicago, said in an e-mail. While it’s unclear “how much rain will actually fall and where, this can pressure prices,” he said.

Orange juice for July delivery slid 3.1 percent to settle at $1.3875 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since March. 20. This week, the commodity dropped 5.6 percent, the most since March 1. Brazil is the top orange grower.

Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery declined 2.5 percent to $1.3395 a pound. This week, the price plunged 6.5 percent, the most since mid-December, on ample supplies in Brazil, the biggest producer.

The arabica premium over the robusta futures traded in London fell 9.5 percent, the most in nine months, to 42.9 cents a pound.

Arabica, brewed by specialty companies including Starbucks Corp., has dropped 6.8 percent this year, while robusta, used in instant coffee, has climbed 4.3 percent.

Cocoa futures for July delivery advanced 0.2 percent to $2,364 a metric ton. Earlier, the price reached $2,375, the highest since Dec. 19. The commodity climbed for the third straight week, the longest rally since August.

Cotton futures for July delivery rose 1.2 percent to 84.25 cents a pound. Raw-sugar futures for July delivery advanced 0.2 percent to 17.42 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: Patrick McKiernan at pmckiernan@bloomberg.net

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