Orange Juice Gains on Bets Florida Crop Will Drop; Cotton Falls

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Orange-juice rose, capping the biggest weekly jump in a year, on concern that output in Florida, the world’s second-largest citrus grower, will decline because of frigid weather last month. Cotton slumped.

On Dec. 10, the USDA forecast that Florida will produce 143 million boxes of oranges in the harvest that began in October and runs to July. The projection, down from an October estimate of 146 million, was made from data collected before a potentially damaging spate of cold weather. The agency will update its forecast on Jan. 12.

“The orange juice market has become a supply-driven market,” said James Cordier, a portfolio manager at OptionSellers.com in Tampa, Florida. “The market climbs back every time it has a fall.”

Orange-juice futures for March delivery rose 0.7 cent, or 0.4 percent, to settle at $1.7815 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The commodity surged 8.9 percent this week, the biggest gain since the week ended Jan. 8, 2010.

Prices jumped 27 percent last year, a second annual gain, as adverse weather threatened crops in the U.S. and Brazil, the biggest producer. Futures touched $1.808 on Jan. 4, the highest since April 2007.

Cotton futures for March delivery fell 0.62 cent, or 0.4 percent, to $1.406 a pound in New York, declining for the second straight day. The most-active contract touched a record $1.5912 on Dec. 21.

(Source: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-01-07/orange-juice-gains-on-bets-florida-crop-will-drop-cotton-falls.html)

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