Orange juice futures prices have been triggered for the second day because of the possibility that Hurricane Ian will wipe out Florida's orange crop, especially because nearly 90% of America's leading orange juice producer's crop belt, including the state's three highest-producing counties, is in Ian's trajectory, according to Donald Keeney, Maxar Technologies Inc.'s weatherman.
“Nothing can be done to protect the crops,” stated Raymond Royce, executive director of the Highlands County Citrus Producers Association in Sebring, Florida. “All areas are going to be impacted. It could be the last straw for some Florida producers.” The hurricane represents a new blow for Florida producers, who are already dealing with the devastating citrus greening disease.
Further devastation of Florida's crops could further increase America's need to import fruit at a time when supply is very scarce across the country. The United States, which accounts for approximately 11.5% of the world's production, needs to import 65% of the orange it uses, and the Brazilian stock, the main producer, is at the lowest point since 2017.