Orange-Juice Futures Fall for First Time in Two Weeks

Orange-juice futures fell for the first time in two weeks as concern eased that severe weather may hurt groves in Florida, the world’s second-largest citrus grower. Cotton rose, while cocoa dropped.

Tropical Storm Chantal may be falling apart in the Caribbean Sea, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Yesterday, futures capped the longest rally since December amid speculation that Florida’s crops may be threatened during the Atlantic hurricane season that runs until Nov. 30.

“Speculators got in there expecting that something might happen on the bullish side,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview. “It seems that the storm is going to be just a rain event with minimum winds.”

Orange juice for September delivery fell 0.8 percent to settle at $1.355 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The commodity climbed in the previous eight sessions, advancing 6.9 percent.

Orange juice has risen 15 percent this year. Brazil is the top citrus producer.

Cotton futures for December delivery jumped 0.9 percent to 86.79 cents a pound on ICE, after reaching 86.89 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since June 19.

In the past 60 days, rainfall in West Texas was 50 percent of 30-year averages, Joel Widenor, the director of agricultural services at Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said today in a telephone interview. Texas is the largest cotton producer in the U.S, the world’s top exporter.

“There’s still a a lot of concern about the U.S. crop, especially because of the lack of soil moisture in Texas,” Sharon Johnson, a senior market specialist at KCG Futures in Roswell, Georgia, said in a telephone interview.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will update at noon tomorrow its estimate for Florida’s orange output and the U.S. cotton harvest.

Cocoa futures for September delivery slid 0.4 percent to $2,178 a metric ton.

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