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Orange Juice Rallies Despite EU ‘Finalizing’ Tariffs on US Agriculture

June 6, 2018 at 16:07 by Andrew Moran

Orange juice futures are rallying midweek despite the European Union (EU) confirming that it is “finalizing” its complete list of retaliatory tariffs on US agriculture products, which will include orange juice.

July orange juice futures rose $0.045, or 0.75%, to $1.657 per pound at 15:45 GMT on Wednesday on the US ICE Futures Exchange. It has had a slow start to June, but orange juice prices have advanced nearly 20% year-to-date.

Last week, President Donald Trump announced new steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Europe. The EU exported more than 5.5 million tons of steel to the US in 2017, a trend that has irked the US administration because it aims to increase its own steel exports.

As part of the trade bloc’s response, European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic announced that officials will be finalizing its list of “rebalancing” levies on a range of US goods, ranging from bourbon to cranberries to orange juice. The list is expected to be completed sometime this month and the new duties will start going into effect as early as next month.

The EU will not be the only jurisdiction to target US agriculture. Canada will retaliate with its own series of tariffs worth $16.6 billion. The new taxes will apply to US toilet paper, orange juice, and whiskey.

This could be bad news for Florida orange farmers. The Sunshine State’s citrus industry has been battered for the last several years, stemming from weather events, citrus diseases, and tumbling orange juice sales. In recent years, Florida’s orange growers have produced their lowest harvests in several decades, and the US Department of Agriculture continues to revise its sector forecasts lower.

Over the last 60 days, the orange market has spurred buyer interest and reduced any seller interest among investors.

In other agricultural commodities, July wheat futures rose $0.14, or 2.79%, to $5.24 per bushel. July corn futures dipped $0.02, or 0.52%, to $3.81 a pound. July soybean futures tumbled $0.025, or 0.25%, to $9.98 a bushel. July coffee futures slipped $0.06, or 0.5%, to $1.18 per pound.

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