Sugar futures climbed the most in more than two weeks on speculation that rains will delay the harvest in Brazil, the world’s top producer and exporter. Orange juice also advanced, while cotton slumped.
A cold front arrived today in Brazil’s Center-South, the world’s top cane-producing region, bringing rains that are expected to ease only by the weekend, according to Somar Meteorologia. That followed five days of rains last week, which was projected to delay harvesting of sugar cane and coffee, according to the Sao Paulo-based forecaster.
“We got a lot rain here in the Center South over the last five days, and it’s raining today,” Juliano Ferreira, a broker at ICAP do Brasil Ctvm, said in an telephone interview from Sao Paulo. “That’s going to slow down the harvest,” and buyers seeking the sweetener for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in July will have to look elsewhere because supply is tight, he said.
Raw sugar for July delivery climbed 0.8 percent to settle at 19.06 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest gain since May 16.
The rainfall-induced delays in Brazil will probably provide a floor to prices between 18.5 cents and 19 cents in the near term, Ferreira said.
Orange-juice futures for July delivery rose 3 percent to $1.148 a pound in New York, the most since May 24. The beverage has still plunged 32 percent in 2012.
Cotton futures for December delivery tumbled 2.5 percent to 65.36 cents a pound on ICE, capping a third straight loss. The fiber has plummeted 52 percent in the past year.
London’s NYSE Liffe exchange was shut for second day for a bank holiday.
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