April 5, 2012 / 7:37 PM / in 6 years

NY juice down 1 pct to fresh 6-mth low as supply grows

* OJ under pressure due to plentiful supplies expectation
    * Market digests news Brazil cracked down on commods firms

    NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) - Orange juice futures fell 1
percent on Thursday for a second straight daily loss, ending at
a fresh six-month low as easing supply concerns triggered
selling, analysts said.	
    The key May contract for frozen concentrated orange juice
 fell 1.95 cent to end at $1.587 per lb, the lowest level
for the spot contract since early October, Reuters data showed.	
    Traded volume on Wednesday of around 3,500 lots more than
doubled its 30-day norm, ICE Futures U.S. data showed.  	
    "We had a warm winter. And with a mild hurricane season
coming, there is no news right now that might drive it higher,"
said one Florida-based softs commodities trader.	
    The U.S. Climate Prediction Center raised the prospect that
El Nino conditions could return after the Northern Hemisphere
summer, causing adverse weather that could potentially disrupt
the harvest of vital crops such as cotton, corn and soybeans.
 	
    The storm premium buying usually seen with the approach of
the annual hurricane season is still a few weeks away. Hurricane
season begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30.	
    The citrus market continued to digest news Brazil cracked
down on multinational commodities firms on Wednesday with rules
to block them from shifting tax liabilities to more favorable
countries.  	
    "The market is extremely oversold, but it could see $1.50 if
it does not rebound above $1.60," the Florida trader said.  	
    The market had rallied in January after a prohibited
fungicide turned up in U.S. imports of Brazilian juice.   	
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ran tests and excluded
some shipments, but fears of a crunch have eased because there
are enough U.S. supplies for the domestic market. Retail demand
has also been weak, analysts said.	
    Since peaking over $2 a lb in January, the market has lost
almost 20 percent in value.	
    The market continued to monitor conditions in California,
where agriculture officials are scrambling to head off the
spread of the citrus greening bacteria that is fatal to citrus
trees.	
    California is the second-biggest citrus producer in the
country, after Florida. Market reaction to the news has been
lackluster so far, dealers said.	
	
 (Reporting by Frank Tang;edited by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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