Orange-juice futures rose to a three- year high in New York as freezing weather increased the prospect of crop damage in Florida, the world’s biggest citrus grower after Brazil.
“The early part of next week is what we need to focus on,” when temperatures may dip below freezing after frigid weather this week, said Donald Keeney, a senior agricultural meteorologist at MDA Information Systems Inc. in Rockville, Maryland. Futures have risen 29 percent this year, partly on concern that dry conditions and frost may harm U.S. crops.
“You’re still seeing continued weather concerns,” said Jodi Timmons, a vice president at Global Commodity Futures LLC in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Next week’s forecast is “right on the border line where it could be a problem,” she said.
Orange-juice futures for January delivery rose 5.3 cents, or 3.3 percent, to settle at $1.66 a pound at 2:03 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, prices rose 5.9 percent to $1.7025, the highest since May 9, 2007.
Last week, orange juice rallied 5.1 percent in three days as a cold snap was forecast for Florida. The commodity has gained 11 percent this month.
The 2011 hurricane season, which begins June 1 in the Atlantic Ocean, may be more active than normal, according to researchers from Colorado State University. More tropical storms, a threat to citrus crops in Florida, will make U.S. landfall next year, the team said in an e-mail today.
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