Sour Outlook for Orange Juice

There was nothing sunny about the frozen concentrated orange juice futures market as it neared a three-year low this week under $1.19 per pound.

Prices are dropping as Florida prepares to harvest an orange crop that could swamp the OJ market. Demand for the beverage has been falling for years as consumers shift to other fruit juices or alternative drinks, and competition from Brazilian OJ has driven prices lower.

Meanwhile, Florida orange trees have been devastated in recent years by the citrus greening disease and whole groves were destroyed by Hurricane Irma last year. Scientists are beginning to combat the disease and farmers have replanted trees, but are now facing low prices, giving them a cloudy outlook.