Orange juice futures rise on hurricane speculation

AP News
Posted: May 13, 2011 4:08 PM
Orange juice futures rise on hurricane speculation

Orange juice futures rose 3.3 percent Friday as investors weighed the possibility that hurricanes could disrupt the supply of oranges.

The price of frozen orange juice futures typically begins to increase as the hurricane season gets under way. Orange juice futures rose 5.8 cents to settle at $1.8285 a pound, the highest since late February.

The U.S. Agriculture Department earlier this week estimated this year's crop at 8.82 million tons. That was about 1 percent less than the April forecast but 7 percent more than the 2009-2010 season.

Transworld Futures LLC analyst Jimmy Tintle said a price increase of nearly 3 percent since the first of May was "a little bit unusual."

"I think what everybody's looking at is one hurricane, two hurricanes and we're really having supply issues," he said.

Other commodities were mixed largely because of movements in the dollar. Commodities are priced in dollars so a stronger dollar makes them more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

Gold fell and silver rose as some investors sold their holdings for a profit. The metals were also pressured by global financial issues such as Europe's lingering debt problems, CPM Group analyst Carlos Sanchez said.

Gold for June delivery fell $13.20 to settle at $1,493.60 an ounce, which was 5.1 percent higher than it was at the start of the year. July silver rose 21.6 cents to settle at $35.013. Although that is off its high for the year after days of volatile trading, the price still was 13.2 percent higher for the year.

In other metals trading, July copper rose 1.3 cents to $3.9835 a pound, July platinum fell $1.70 to $1,769.30 an ounce and June palladium fell $10.40 to at $706.45 an ounce.

Energy prices settled higher.

Benchmark crude for June delivery rose 68 cents to settle at $99.65 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, ending a volatile week in which the price ranged from $95 to $104.

In other Nymex contracts for June, heating oil rose 2.85 cents to settle at $2.9422 per gallon, gasoline rose 1.05 cents to $3.0744 a gallon and natural gas rose 5.5 cents to $4.311 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Grains and beans were mixed.

In contracts for July delivery, wheat fell 7.75 cents to settle at $7.2775 a bushel, corn rose 1.5 cents to $6.82 a bushel and soybeans fell 13.25 cents to $13.295 a bushel.