The US is stocking up on Brazilian orange juice after Hurricane Ian and disease devastated citrus groves in Florida, the top producing state for the popular breakfast beverage.
Shipments to the US from the world’s top exporter are up 58% in the first four months of the season from a year ago, hitting a record 112,500 metric tons to the end of October, according to Brazil’s Secretariat of Foreign Trade.
The jump comes after Hurricane Ian exacerbated a plunge in orange juice production in Florida, where decades-long damage from the citrus-greening disease had already left the Sunshine State with the lowest crop in 79 years this season.
The surge in US imports shows how deep the deficit is for global juice supplies, an issue that is set to drive up costs to consumers of the beverage. The world is heading to a third year of demand exceeding supply, with prices in developed economies such as the US and Europe set to become 20% to 30% more expensive by the beginning of next year, Rabobank analyst Andres Padilla said in a November report.
US stockpiles of the fruit juice have already tumbled to the lowest in 45 years, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture.