Orange Juice Futures Rally

From Associated Press

Orange juice futures prices soared Thursday because of anticipation that a cold snap could move into Florida and damage the orange crop there.

Prices advanced in most delivery months by 5 cents a pound, the maximum allowed in a day's trading, while the contract for delivery in January, which is unlimited, rose 5.5 cents a pound.

Gary Portugal, an orange juice analyst in New York with Drexel Burnham Lambert, said the rally, which extended into its second day, was entirely weather-related.

"I think the fundamentals in orange juice are not very positive," he said.

"But I wouldn't want to be a seller in here at all," he said, until the freeze scare is over. "There is a definite chance of a freeze," he said. Orange juice prices typically rally during such threats in December and January.

Portugal said if the freeze fails to materialize over the weekend, prices probably will resume the downtrend they were in prior to the forecast.

Orange juice settled 4.6 cents to 5.5 cents higher with the contract for delivery in January at $1.63 a pound.

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