From the Guardian - US officials predict this year’s harvest will be down 14% from last year as trees reel from disease and hurricanes – and orange prices surge
"Florida might need to consider redesigning its license plates. The state’s plates feature a pair of ripe oranges above the famous “Sunshine State” slogan, but the region is in the midst of the worst orange harvest crisis since records began in 1913 – and prices are soaring.
The state’s orange trees, which are mostly used to produce juice, have been devastated by disease and hurricanes, causing harvest totals to fall for five successive seasons. The US Department of Agriculture this week predicted that the 2016 harvest would amount to just 70m boxes of oranges, a 14% drop on last year and a huge decline from bountiful days at the turn of this century when more than 23m boxes, each containing 90lb of fruit, were produced each year.
The steep drop in production has led orange juice futures prices to nearly double in 13 months, pushing producers to reduce the size of cartons and make more drinks that blend orange with other juices, in order to avoid shocking consumers with too big a price increase at the checkout. Orange juice futures traded on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) rose from $1.03 a pound in September 2015 to $2.05 last week. Some analysts predict that the price could reach $2.20 by the end of the year."
The full article can be read here.