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Evening markets: market squeeze lifts juice

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An extra market squeeze from litigation helped orange juice take its turn on the seven-month-high podium, as profit taking and a turn in external financial climate put a lid on other agricultural commodities.

Juice's rise to 90.30 cents a pound in New York, the best since late September, was helped by lawyers as well as the elements, which have raised fears for a drought in Florida, America's biggest citrus producing state.

Florida Citrus Mutual, a growers' organisation, said that a dumping complaint it had lodged against Citrovita, a Brazilian group, could inject "some pricing discipline" into the juice market.

The complaint alleges that Citrovita sold juice into the US at "prices well below its calculated cost of production", breaking an anti-dumping order issued three years ago.

Beans soften

Other crops, however, faced profit-taking pressure after external markets weakened, with US shares and oil trading lower.

So much for the technical rally suggested this morning by analysis of a leading commodities index.

May soybeans slipped 4.75 cents to $11.10 ½ a bushel at 18:45 GMT as the halo effect of Monday's strong US export data weakened. Future beans showed similar losses, with September beans off 4.75 cents at $10.01 a bushel.

May wheat managed to stay on positive ground, up 3.5 cents at $5.42 a bushel, following US official figures late on Monday showing spring wheat plantings still well behind. September wheat added 3 cents to $5.80 ½ a bushel.

But corn, without such a big planting delay, had no such support. Chicago's May contract declined 3.5 cents to $394 ¼ a bushel, with September off 4.5 cents at $4.10 a bushel.

Against that background, and with the dollar falling to a one-month low against the euro, a slow day in Europe was to be expected. May wheat in Paris added E0.50 to E146.50 a tonne, and in London took on £0.50 to £112.50 a tonne.

Paris rapeseed for August, however, reversed some of Monday's gains, dipping E2.00 to E309.00.

Hogs recover

Chicago hogs, for once, proved better performers than grains and oilseeds as fears receded for the impact of swine flu on the pig industry. May hogs added 0.4% to 56.20 cents a pound, with their July colleagues 1.9% higher at $67.60 a pound.

Among softs, sugar remained in demand thanks to fears for India's domestic production. London sugar for August added $5 to close at $447.00 a tonne, a fresh high since July 2006.

New York sugar for July was 0.17 cents higher at 15.22 cents a pound.

London cocoa ended unchanged at £1,672 a tonne.

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