From the field to the supermarket shelf, orange juice prices are skyrocketing and the breakfast staple is taking a heavy toll on consumers’ pockets.
On the New York Stock Exchange, frozen concentrated orange juice futures hit a record high of $4.17 a pound, as forecasts of reduced production in the U.S., Brazil and Mexico added to investor concerns.
Big losses in the US
“Destructive storms in 2022 strip trees, Hurricane Ian alone leads to at least $250 billion in losses” is quoted in a CBS report.
The heavy pressure on prices was the result of a series of disruptive factors such as hurricanes that literally wiped out 10% of production in Florida, the world’s second largest producer of orange juice after Brazil.
“I lost 95 to 97 percent of my crop. So now is the right time to put in a new cropsays the 62-year-old grower in Florida, USA.
Another aggravating factor is the greening of citrus fruits. A disease spread by sap-sucking insects turning the fruit green and bitter, it has irreparably damaged the citrus industry for years.
“The state of Florida will produce 60% less citrus than last yearsaid Syracuse University Professor Patrick Penfield.
“It’s a matter of supply and demand. There just aren’t enough oranges» he adds himself.
Supply and demand determine the price
Although consumption of orange juice had declined in recent decades largely in Western countries, the pandemic has upended the previous record with sales soaring as consumers desperately looked for ways to boost their immunity against the coronavirus.
THE Spyros Antonopoulosits president Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Argolispointed out to ert, among other things: “The increased demand and reduced supply will create a situation of rising prices, this is a main exportable product».
While he added: “In Argolis we started the fruit cutting late. Cowardly this year. Prices for the early variety of oranges in Argolis, at the moment, are from 0.40-0.45 euros and for mandarins from 0.60-0.70 euros».