Sugar Declines Most in Eight Weeks; Orange Juice Drops

Sugar futures fell the most in eight weeks on signs that global demand remains sluggish amid prospects for abundant supply. Orange juice, coffee, cocoa also slid, while cotton rose.

The amount of sugar for loading at ports in Brazil, the world’s top producer, fell 7.2 percent from a week earlier, data from Williams Servicos Maritimos Ltda., a Recife, Brazil-based shipping agency, showed yesterday. In the year starting April 1, the nation’s cane output may climb 9 percent from a year earlier, according to Sao Paulo-based Unica, an industry group.

“There is little sign of offtake by end-users,” Sucden Financial Ltd. said in a report. “The physical market is slow,” reflected in discounts being offered for Brazilian sugar, the London-based brokerage said.

Raw sugar for March delivery sank 3 percent to settle at 19.1 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S., the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Nov. 7.

Yesterday, the commodity reached 19.75 cents, the highest since Dec. 4.

“The macroeconomic enthusiasm was fading by the end of the day and is lower today,” James Cassidy, the head of sugar trading at Newedge Group in New York, said in an e-mail. “Producer selling was increasing.”

Orange-juice futures for March delivery tumbled 4.3 percent to $1.116 a pound on ICE, after reaching $1.114, the lowest since Nov. 14.

Florida Weather

Temperatures in Florida, the world’s largest citrus grower after Brazil, will be above normal in the next two weeks, without the risk of frost, according to MDA Information Systems Inc. in Gaithersburg, Maryland. U.S. imports of orange juice surged 32 percent in October from a year earlier, the Florida Department of Citrus said Dec. 19. Retail sales dropped in the four weeks ended Nov. 24, the agency said.

“We are taking in more than we are selling,” Jerry Neff, a branch manager at Allendale Inc. in Bradenton, Florida, said in an e-mail. “Looks like the cold-weather threat is the only thing that would push up” prices, he said.

Also on ICE in New York, arabica-coffee futures for March delivery fell 1.9 percent to $1.465 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $1.5195, the highest since Dec. 10.

Cocoa futures for March delivery slipped 0.1 percent to $2,256 a metric ton.

Cotton futures for March delivery advanced less than 0.1 percent to 75.39 cents a pound.

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