How Much Does My OJ Cost? | God's World News
How Much Does My OJ Cost?
News Shorts
Posted: June 17, 2024
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    Workers load a truck with harvested oranges on a farm in Mogi Guacu, Brazil. Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of orange juice. But heatwaves, little rain, and a citrus disease shrink its crop. (AP/Andre Penner)
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    Workers harvest oranges on a farm in Mogi Guacu, Brazil. (AP/Andre Penner)
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    Orange farmer Oscar Simonetti examines fruits at his plantation in Mogi Guacu, Brazil. Some are infected with citrus greening bacteria. (AP/Andre Penner)
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Orange juice prices go up and up at the grocery store. Want a can of orange juice concentrate? In April 2023, it cost an average of $2.48. In April 2024, it cost about $4.27. Ouch, my wallet!

Prices for foods made with oranges often change. They fall when big harvests create an oversupply of oranges. Farmers lower prices to find buyers for all that fruit. They rise when frost kills blossoms or a hurricane knocks out trees. That means a smaller supply. So if demand stays the same, sellers can charge more.

This time, though, sky-high prices may stick around for a while. A Brazilian citrus growers’ group says that this harvest could be the worst in 36 years. Why? Flooding and drought hit hard. Drought also made Spain’s orange crop smaller last year.

What about the United States? Florida’s orange harvest fell 62% in the 2022-2023 season. Imagine the drop this way. Say a Florida farmer normally grows 100 crates of oranges. In that season, he could gather only 38. Hurricane Ian battered the crop. But farmers were already struggling.

In 2005, the Asian citrus psyllid arrived in Florida. The invasive bug injects bacteria from its saliva into orange trees. The bacteria slowly kill the tree. Oranges on sick trees don’t ripen properly. The disease is called citrus greening.

Before citrus greening came to Florida, the state produced 200 million boxes of oranges. This year, it will produce fewer than 20 million.

How are grocery shoppers dealing with high prices? Some stop buying the juice. They switch to energy drinks, smoothies, and other beverages, like plain water.

Some companies try using other fruits. Coldpress, a British juice company, introduced mandarin juice in February. Other producers consider mixing oranges with tangerines. As customers get frustrated with high prices, many are willing to try different options.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. — John 15:5