Orange juice prices rose on Monday, pushed by fears that the passage of Hurricane Ian could reduce the harvest in Florida, one of the two main producing regions of the United States. The frozen concentrated orange juice futures contract for November delivery rose to $2.01 a pound (about 450 grams) for the first time in nearly six years (December 2016).
Hurricane Ian killed at least 72 people, including 68 in Florida last week, according to official reports, but some U.S. media outlets estimate the actual death toll could exceed 100.
According to estimates by the specialist firm CoreLogic, the storm may have caused a total of 28 to 47 billion dollars in damages. During his stay in Florida he passed through Polk County, the state’s leading orange growing region.
Beginning of orange picking season
“In areas The citrus belt“, a large citrus-growing area located in South Florida, said the Florida Federation of Agricultural Bureaus, “many fruits have fallen from their trees.” Ian’s arrival, which begins picking oranges in September, lasts until June, depending on the region and variety.
“Our first observations have revealed significant fruit drop,” said Alico, one of two orange giants in Florida with the Texas-based King Ranch team. “Referring to previous episodes of storms,” Alico continued, “we expect it will take at least two seasons for plantations to return to pre-hurricane production levels.”
A culture is also affected by disease
Florida, long the leading orange growing region in the United States, gave up its throne to California this year due to yellow dragon disease, also known as Huanglongping disease (HLB), which can cause ripening. Citrus fruits and fruits cause early fall.
read more: Hurricane Ian has killed more than 80 people in the United States
It is carried by small insect vectors of a bacterium, Xyla, which causes yellowing of the leaves, then the decay of the fruits, until it affects the whole tree, narrowing its vascular system.
It first hit Florida in 2005, contaminating nearly all of the state’s orchards. There is no known cure for this disease. Production in Florida for the 2021-22 season, which ended in June, was down 23%. California provided 55% of the production against Florida’s 44%.
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