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Orange Juice Futures Still Trading Higher in Hurricane Irma Aftermath

September 28, 2017 at 16:57 by Andrew Moran

Orange juice prices are still hovering around the $1.50 mark in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Despite orange juice futures plummeting because Florida orange farmers missed much of the weather event, consumers can expect a glass of the citrus to be higher for the rest of the year.

November orange juice futures tumbled $0.0105, or 0.70%, to $1.489 per pound at 16:41 GMT on the ICE Futures exchange.

Year-to-date, orange juice prices have plunged nearly 20%. Earlier this month, orange juice futures surged to a four-month high as investors placed their bets that crops would be significantly devastated thanks to Irma. But orange farmers avoided the brunt of Irma as they faced only minor damage.

As the Sunshine States enters recovery mode, consumers can anticipate higher prices at the grocery store for the classic breakfast staple. It is estimated that 30% of Florida’s crops were impacted.

Experts project that orange juice will cost as much as $2.30 per gallon, reports USA Today. This may fluctuate in the coming months because Brazil may attempt to cover the shortfall by boosting US experts. September and October are important months for the Florida orange industry because citrus is in its prime, but officials are already warning oranges are suffering from citrus greening and flooded waters.

Adam Putnam, the state’s agricultural commissioner, said in a statement:

There are some adjusters on the ground right now writing 100% losses. There are groves still under water. Carpets of rotting fruit, mature trees entirely defoliated.

It has decimated our industry. The path of this storm could not have been any worse for Florida agriculture and Florida citrus. But, we’re tougher than that storm. And Florida citrus will pick up, replant and move on.

Over the last two years, Florida has had to combat a myriad of problems, including citrus falling before its ripe, rising competition from Brazil, and a decline in consumption. Orange juice purchases continue to drop as season-to-date sales have tumbled 7.5%.

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