Orange-Juice Futures Jump to Highest in 11 Months; Coffee Rises

Orange juice climbed to the highest in 11 months on concern that dry weather and a fruit disease will worsen crop losses in Florida, the world’s second-largest grower. Coffee also rose, while sugar, cocoa and cotton slid.

On April 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture probably will trim its estimate for Florida’s orange output for the fifth month, to 137.97 million boxes from 139 million projected in March, as unusually dry weather compounds damage from citrus greening, a bacterial disease that reduces yields, according to the average of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“Greening disease and what it might mean to production prospects continues to be a primary support,” Jack Scoville, a vice president for Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in an e-mailed report. “Conditions are dry, and talk about the potential for more fruit drop and poor development of the crop for next year continues.”

Orange juice for delivery in May jumped 4.9 percent to settle at $1.4775 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price rose to $1.484, the highest for a most-active contract since April 30.

This week, the beverage jumped 9.3 percent, extending this year’s rally to 26 percent, the most among the 19 raw materials tracked by the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index. The rally may boost costs for companies including Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo Inc., the maker of Tropicana, and Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co., which sells Minute Maid.

Shrinking Stockpiles

Florida’s production losses come at a time of shrinking stockpiles at facilities monitored by ICE, where inventories as of yesterday slumped to 10.38 million pounds from 15.47 million a year earlier, exchange data on Bloomberg show. Brazil is the world’s leading orange producer. A box weighs 90 pounds, or 41 kilograms.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery gained 0.5 percent to $1.4015 a pound on ICE, the third straight increase.

Also in New York, raw-sugar futures for delivery in May slid 0.1 percent to 17.65 cents a pound, cocoa futures for May delivery fell 0.4 percent to $2,132 a metric ton, and cotton futures for delivery in May sank 1.7 percent to 86.79 cents a pound as financial markets tumbled.