Orange Juice Falls as Crop May Dodge Hurricane; Cotton Declines
Bloomberg – August 23, 2011
Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) — Orange-juice futures fell on signs that groves in Florida, the world’s second-biggest citrus grower, may escape damage from Hurricane Irene as the storm’s track shifts east. Cotton also declined.
Hurricane Irene is expected to grow into a major story in the next day as it rips through the Bahamas before going ashore in North Carolina over the weekend and moving up the East Coast. It was 55 miles (88 kilometers) south of Grand Turk Island at about 2 p.m. New York time, according to a U.S. National Hurricane Center advisory shortly before 11 a.m. East Coast time.
“The level of angst has decreased dramatically in the last 24 hours or so,” Ray Royce, the executive director at the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association in Sebring, Florida, said today in a telephone interview. “Things can change, but all of the models seem to be in agreement” that the worst of the storm will bypass Florida, he said.
Orange juice for November delivery fell 2.45 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $1.632 a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S., the biggest decline since Aug. 10. The commodity climbed 20 percent in the past year.
The Highlands County group accounts for about 13 percent of Florida’s production. Brazil is the biggest citrus grower.
Cotton futures for December delivery dropped 1.21 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $1.0524 a pound on ICE. Prices have fallen 52 percent since touching a record $2.197 in March as consumption waned in China, the top user.