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Orange Juice Rises to 13-Month High on Start of Hurricane Season

May 29 (Bloomberg) -- Orange-juice futures climbed to a 13-month high on speculation that supplies will be disrupted during hurricane season, which begins this week.

This month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture affirmed that Florida’s orange crop will be 138 million boxes, 10 percent less than first projected in October because of drought and a crop disease. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Brazil is the world’s top orange grower, followed by Florida. A box weighs 90 pounds, or 41 kilograms.

“This time of year, right before June 1 when hurricane season comes around, you see a lot of speculators jump into the market speculating on whether a hurricane is going to hit Florida or not,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview.

Orange juice for July delivery climbed 3.2 percent to settle at $1.536 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after reaching $1.546, the highest for a most-active contract since April 9, 2012.

Storm Barbara grew into a hurricane with top winds of 75 miles (121 kilometers) per hour as it approached Mexico’s Pacific Coast near Salina Cruz today. Barbara was moving north-northeast at 10 mph about 65 miles east-southeast of Salina Cruz, the center said in an advisory at 11 a.m. Pacific time. The system is expected to weaken rapidly as it moves toward the Gulf of Mexico.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net

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

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