Orange-Juice Futures Fall After Recent Gains

By Julie Wernau Features Dow Jones Newswires

Orange-juice futures slipped after recent gains as the market awaited more word on the status of the upcoming global orange crop.

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Frozen concentrated orange juice for January fell 1.1%, to end at $1.635 a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange, a two-week low.

Rabobank said it is likely that the upcoming crop in Brazil, the world's largest orange-juice producer, will be smaller, at 950,000 tons versus 1.2 million tons this year, but still larger than the 700,000 ton crop in 2016/2017. Dryness in September and October this year are expected to lower production prospects.

Meanwhile, global demand for juice is slumping and Rabobank projects it to contract by 4% both this year and next.

"The result of higher prices and increased competition from various new and existing categories has been a decline of over 40 percent in U.S. orange juice consumption since 2003," the firm said in a note.

This year, decreasing demand for juice, along with a robust crop in Brazil, has helped offset devastating losses to Florida's orange crop from Hurricane Irma. The USDA is predicting an orange crop of 50 million boxes for this year, the smallest since 1945. Florida's orange juice is largely used in the not-from-concentrate market in the U.S.

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In 2016/2017, the orange-juice market is expected to have its first surplus in five years, with a slight deficit of 80,000 tons projected for next year, the firm said.

Raw sugar for March ended up 0.2%, to end at 15.07 cents a pound; cocoa for March ended up 2.8%, at $2,106 a ton; arabica coffee for March was up 1.8%, to settle at $1.32 a pound; and March cotton rose 1.8%, to settle at 73.43 cents a pound.

Write to Julie Wernau at julie.wernau@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 29, 2017 18:05 ET (23:05 GMT)