Monday, May 19, 2014

USDA May 2014 Citrus Forecast Shows Shrinking Supply

As you may know many factors are pushing the US supply of citrus, especially oranges in the direction of a short supply.  Drought in California and bacterial infections in the Florida orange crop are just two of many pressures affecting overall quantity and as well increased prices.

While farmers are the first to feel the effects of these conditions it does trickle down to the consumer and effects their shopping dollars. 

Consumers are currently paying an average of $6.22 a gallon for juice at grocery stores, up 39% from 2004 levels. That could be viewed as good news since many consumer prices have increased at a greater rate than orange juice.

Futures prices started the rally earlier this month, when a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered the estimate for Florida's crop to 110 million 90-pound boxes of oranges, down 12% from its initial estimate, and the smallest harvest in 29 years. Florida grows about 80% of the oranges used for domestic juice.

It was the fourth time since November that the USDA had reduced its forecast for Florida oranges, highlighting the severity of an outbreak of citrus greening in the state. The bacterial disease has spread to every orange-growing county in Florida, stunting fruit growth and causing oranges to fall from the trees prematurely.

Perhaps a bigger concern for the U.S. orange-juice market is shrinking demand. Orange juice has been losing market share to other beverages, including exotic juices and energy drinks. U.S. orange-juice retail sales are down 32% from a decade ago and fell 5.3% from last year in the four weeks ending on March 15, according to the latest Nielsen data published by the Florida Department of Citrus.

It is normal that as prices increase, there follows a decrease in market demand.

It is felt that the biggest factor that hurts orange juice demand is the current high prices.  The current conditions are such that the near future seems to indicate an even greater rise in the price of orange juice.

Read the USDA Report

Sunburst Oranges are doing everything they can to hold the price on our direct from us pricing for our juice oranges.

When you are looking for the perfect gift for business associates, family or friends, a quick visit to can solve all of your fresh gift giving adventures. We have the finest selections and the freshest citrus you can buy.

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Sunburst Packing Co.
180 South “E” Street
Porterville, CA  93257

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