Florida’s orange crop, the world’s largest after Brazil, may be damaged by an overnight frost, said Anthony Chipriano, a meteorologist at MDA Information Systems Inc.
“There is a hard-freeze warning from tonight through tomorrow morning in most parts of Florida,” Rockville, Maryland-based Chipriano said. Temperatures could fall to as low as 21 degree Fahrenheit (negative-6 degree Celsius) in some areas, he said.
Prices of orange juice surged to a three-year high earlier this month after Florida declared a state of emergency amid severe cold and the prospects of crop damage. Last year, the state produced the second-smallest crop in two decades after a cold snap in January damaged fruit.
Orange-juice futures for March delivery jumped 4.65 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $1.686 a pound at 1:44 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices touched $1.706 on Dec. 13, the highest since May 2007. Before today, the commodity gained 27 percent this year.
“Prices could jump back to this year’s high on tonight’s frost concern,” said Fain Shaffer, the president of Infinity Trading Corp., a commodities brokerage in Medford, Oregon.
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