CHICAGO — Brazil's hard-luck growing weather helped spark both soybean and coffee futures prices on U.S. markets Thursday.
Coffee prices settled 6 cents a pound higher--the limit under trading rules at the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange in New York--on nearly all contracts.
Continued hot, dry weather has put the Brazilian coffee crop under extreme pressure and analysts say they are expecting production of 14 million to 17 million 132-pound bags, about half of last year's harvest.
Coffee prices "were locked near the limit" during much of the trading day, said Sandy Kaul, an analyst with Shearson Lehman Brothers in New York. She said the market is doubtful about a forecast rumored to be coming out of the Brazilian Coffee Institute that would put this season's harvest at 19 million to 20 million bags.
Coffee prices settled 5.70 cents to 7.28 cents higher with the contract for delivery in December at 186.68 cents a pound.