Citrus disease is also affecting Brazil's orange crop

Florida will produce the smallest crop of oranges in more than 75 years. The tree-killing disease that decimated Florida orange groves is also intensifying across Brazil, the biggest juice producer in the world.

Citrus greening is spreading across the nation that produces over 70% of the world’s orange juice. Nearly one in four orange trees in Brazil’s key orange-producing areas have the disease, according to research group Fundecitrus.

The thinning groves could worsen inflation at the breakfast table. In the US, juice retail prices rose on average 7.3% this year as the disease ravaged Florida’s crops. Prices are forecast to rise another 5.7% hike next year, said the Florida Department of Citrus, citing Nielsen data.

Florida’s decay has increased the world’s dependence on Brazilian crops. Output in the US’s top-producing state is set to be the smallest in almost eight decades due to a decades-long onslaught of citrus greening. Crop destruction following Hurricane Ian has been reducing production even more. That leaves Brazil in a key position, with US demand for Brazilian juice already on the rise reports

So far the damage to Brazil’s groves is not as extensive as Florida’s, where 80% of trees have been affected. Even so, Fundecitrus researcher Renato Bassanezi thinks growers in the South American country need to act fast. “An alarm is starting to sound.” 


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