Orange juice, coffee futures fall sharply

AP News
Posted: Sep 17, 2013 5:38 PM

Orange juice futures fell sharply on Tuesday after Florida said consumer demand fell last month.

Coffee prices fell as Vietnam began harvesting what many expect to be a large crop.

Energy and metal prices mostly fell as traders anticipated less economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

November frozen concentrated orange juice plunged 8.15 cents, or 6 percent, to $1.2755 a pound.

Sterling Smith, vice president and futures specialist at Citi Institutional Client Group, noted that the Florida Department of Citrus reported Monday that retail demand for orange juice fell last month, a trend that has been continuing for about 13 years.

Smith also noted that the threat of crop damage from hurricanes this year appeared to be dissipating.

"This year's hurricane season, thankfully, has been a disappointment in terms of threats," Smith said.

With about 45 days left in the hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico, the chances of a major storm disrupting Florida's citrus crop, "while not zero, are getting smaller every day," Smith said.

Coffee for December delivery fell 4.3 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $1.1495 a pound. Smith said coffee has been in a bear market for months as supplies for the robusta bean, which is used to make instant coffee, remain elevated.

Other crops were mixed. December wheat rose 1.75 cents to $6.43 a bushel. December corn fell 2.5 cents to $4.54 a bushel and November soybeans fell 5.75 cents to $13.425 a bushel.

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In energy trading, benchmark oil for October delivery fell $1.17, or 1.1 percent, to $105.42 a barrel in New York.

Wholesale gasoline fell 6 cents to $2.66 per gallon, natural gas rose 1 cent to $3.75 per 1,000 cubic feet and heating oil declined 7 cents to $3.00 per gallon.

Gold for December delivery fell $8.40 to $1,309.40 an ounce. December silver fell 22.5 cents to $21.784 an ounce.

Other metals prices were mixed.

December copper rose 0.1 cent to $3.223 a pound. October platinum fell $18.80 to $1,442.40 an ounce and December palladium edged up 90 cents to $706.95 an ounce.