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Orange-Juice Futures Head for Longest Slump in Six Weeks

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May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Orange-juice futures capped the longest drop in six weeks on speculation that rains will boost crops in Florida, the world’s second-biggest citrus grower. Coffee also fell, while sugar, cotton and cocoa rose.

Most growing areas in Florida will get 0.5 inch (1.27 centimeters) of rain from May 19 to May 21, Kyle Tapley, a meteorologist at MDA Information Systems Inc. in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said in a telephone interview. This month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture affirmed the state’s orange crop will be 138 million boxes, 10 percent less than first forecast in October because of drought and a crop disease.

“The rainfall is putting pressure” on prices, Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview. “It’s such a tight situation, and we really need it.”

Orange juice for July delivery retreated 1.6 percent to settle at $1.42 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the third straight fall and the longest slide since April 1.

Brazil is the world’s biggest orange grower. A box weighs 90 pounds, or 41 kilograms.

Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery tumbled 2.1 percent to $1.369 a pound on ICE, after reaching $1.3675, the lowest for a most-active contract since May 2. The price dropped for the fourth straight day, the longest slump in two months.

Raw-sugar futures for July delivery advanced 0.4 percent to 16.89 cents a pound in New York, snapping an five-session slide. This week, the sweetener declined 3.1 percent.

Cotton futures for July delivery rose 0.4 percent to 86.41 cents a pound on ICE.

Cocoa futures for July delivery climbed 0.3 percent to $2,300 a metric ton.

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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