Orange-Juice Futures Fall After Rains Aids Florida Crops

Orange-juice futures dropped the most in a week after rain in the citrus belt of Florida, the world’s second-largest grower, eased the stress of recent dry weather. Coffee also fell, while cocoa, sugar and cotton gained.

Rains “were more impressive” over the weekend, and as much as 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in some areas aided trees, Joel Widenor, the director of agricultural services at Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a telephone interview. A lack of moisture and crop disease damaged groves.

“The beneficial rain is pushing prices lower, especially so because the frost season is out of the way,” Fain Shaffer, the president of Infinity Trading Corp. in Medford, Oregon, said in a telephone interview. Dry weather “was exacerbating the damage from citrus greening, which starves the tree of nutrients,” he said.

Orange juice for May delivery slumped 1.4 percent to settle at $1.37 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. The price has climbed 17 percent this year. Brazil is the top citrus grower.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery fell 0.7 percent to $1.366 a pound on ICE. The price climbed in the previous five sessions, the longest rally since the eight days that ended on Sept. 1, 2011.

Cocoa futures for May delivery gained 0.2 percent at $2,150 a metric ton.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery advanced 0.4 percent to 17.85 cents a pound.

Cotton futures for May delivery climbed 0.6 percent to 88.53 cents a pound. Tomorrow, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will release its first estimate for domestic planting intentions this year, based on a survey of farmers.

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