Orange-Juice Futures Jump Most in Five Months

Orange juice surged the most in five months on concern that higher-than-normal temperatures and a crop disease will curb output in Florida, the world’s second-biggest citrus grower. Cotton also rose.

On Jan. 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its estimate for Florida’s orange output as citrus greening, a bacterial disease, damaged groves. Temperatures in the state will be above average in the first half of February, adding stress to groves, according to MDA Information Systems Inc. in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

“The bullish case is all about greening,” Shawn Hackett, the president of Hackett Financial Advisors Inc. in Boynton Beach, Florida, said in an e-mail. “Heat increases fruit drop.”

Orange juice for March delivery surged 4.4 percent to settle at $1.193 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Aug. 22. Earlier, the price reached $1.197, the highest since Dec. 31.

“We are still seeing continued fruit drop,” Dean Mixon, the president of Mixon Fruit Farms Inc., a grower in Bradenton, Florida, said in an e-mail.

Cotton futures for March delivery rose 0.7 percent to 82.96 cents a pound in New York, the third straight advance.

The fiber, up 10 percent in January, is heading for the biggest monthly gain since February 2011 on signs of tightening supplies in the U.S., the biggest exporter, and increasing demand in China, the top consumer and importer.

The USDA will update forecasts on the Florida orange crop and U.S. cotton on Feb. 8. Brazil is the biggest citrus grower.

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