Get Ready For High Prices: California’s Citrus Crop “Severely Damaged”

No orange juice for you! Record cold temperatures (huh?) in California have seriously damaged the orange crop. And by damage, we mean “Huge Disaster.” Only 30% of the orange crop was picked before this weekend. What does this mean for the consumer?

    Consumers could feel the effects in higher costs, said Toni Spigelmyer, spokeswoman for Sysco Corp., the nation’s largest food service distributor.

    “We’ve lost about 50% of the orange crops, had significant losses on lemons and it’s going to have an effect on vegetables,” Spigelmyer said. “Basically, what we’re going to see is a tighter supply and much higher prices.”

Whoops. By the way, we don’t even care about this because we are allergic to oranges. Oh, alright we care.—MEGHANN MARCO

$1.1-billion orange crop is severely damaged [LA Times]

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  1. MarcAnthony says:

    Noooooooooooo! First gas prices, then high utility bills, then this! Why God, Why?

    I love Orange Juice, I guess I’ll have to drink Tang instead!

  2. max andrews says:

    I was back in California for the winter holidays, and one morning I went outside, slipped on the frozen-ass ground, and fell on my butt. I got up, brushed the ice chips off my pants, said “F*ck this” out loud, and then went back to bed.

  3. Emrikol says:

    (Following the flow of MarcAnthony’s comment:)

    Damnit! I just bought that new citrus powered Hummer too! Now what am I going to do?

  4. Frank Grimes says:

    Go East said the man from Texas. My wife just bought (4) phenominal Texas ruby red grapefruits yesterday for $.25 each. There are also oranges from “The Valley” but they can be pretty nasty.

  5. spin_sycle says:

    so my cocktail is going to cost more now?

    Greeeeaaaaat.

  6. adamondi says:

    Looks like the market for South and Central American produce is about to get a lot more profitable. I am not entirely convinced that this will have a huge impact on the vegetable crops. There aren’t a whole lot of vegetables grown in huge amounts during the winter, even in California.

  7. Jurph says:

    Florida produces most of the juice oranges in the USA, and California produces mostly whole fresh oranges. The effect on juice prices will probably be slim because Florida has already had three bad seasons in a row and prices are already high. The California freeze most likely means that the price of whole citrus or fresh-squeezed (from whole fresh oranges) will likely go up.

    If I sold OJ, however, I would be happy to hike my prices based on this freeze, and then leave them up.

  8. MeOhMy says:

    A lot of orange juice comes from Florida, so juice prices should not be as drastically affected as fresh fruit prices.

    But then again a lot of pricing is dictated not by supply and demand, but by emotion. If people are expecting prices to go up, everyone up the supply chain is happy to oblige.

  9. holocron says:

    An article I read earlier today–sorry I don’t have a link–suggested that we’d be looking at a 150% price increase on citrus/orange products.

  10. MeOhMy says:

    Pwned by Jurph, but I assure the world that I started that post 20 min ago and got interrupted before I could submit it.

  11. Josh Smith says:

    RE holocron

    That’s crazy I don’t think the market could sustain a 150% price increase. People will find something else to drink.

    note I could see the 150% increase happening just not bringing good results.

  12. Michael says:

    Only 5% of the $350-million crop was picked before this weekend.

    Meghann,
    The 5% refers to the avocado crop. About 30% of California’s orange crop was picked before the freeze.

  13. max andrews says:

    Oh crap, even worse. California Avocados are the only thing that allow me to get up every morning :/

    All you ever wanted to know about U.S. orange consumption:
    http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fts/aug03/fts30501/ft

    75% of florida’s oranges go toward making frozen OJ concentrates, and florida outputs 80% of all the oranges, so that means that at least 60% of all oranges grown in the US are turned into frozen concentrate…woah…

    I see this affecting jamba juice, because in CA they squeeze their OJ from fresh local oranges every day. Bummer.

  14. ViewFromHere says:

    Can’t the frozen oranges in California be used for orange juice? That might force the price of orange juice down. I’d miss the whole oranges though.

  15. Meg Marco says:

    Michael, whoops, thanks!!

  16. supedve says:

    Time to start drinking sport drinks that are only $1.00 each at your your chain market and have been for a long time. You’ll never see cheap OJ again, just like milk prices have gotten insane in the last few years too.

  17. sweetlyvicious says:

    I’ve a bunch of (sour) oranges in my backyard that are only slightly frozen. I’ll sell ‘em to anyone who can brave the crazy LA traffic!

  18. babycakes says:

    The USDA this year put a ban on all florida fruit shippers – oranges & grapefruit from being shipped to Calif, Louisiana, Texas & Arizona. Now parts of Nevada on the border of Calif also can’t get citrus from Florida because the fruit is banned in Calif and the transfer points distribution centers are in Calif. So, now all you have left is Texas fruit – has anyone had the pleasure of getting Texas fruit shipped to them – the grapefruit is not bad – but the oranges – well…..
    If you want Florida fruit shipped to you from Florida I suggest you get in touch with the USDA and tell them to lift their ban. The reason for this ban – they think they can keep the spread of canker from these states. However, canker grows on the leaves and trees – not on the fruit that is taken from them & processed before it is shipped in USDA approved boxes.
    What is the USDA THINKING????????
    Oranges & grapefruit from Florida this year, including the wonderful Honeybells (only available in January) are the best they have been in years. No hurricanes this past year – the trees have recovered & the fruit is great.
    Luckilly I am a resident of Florida!

  19. I heard avocadoes are going to be affected as well. Which sucks, because I love me some guacamole.

  20. krazykirk says:

    I’m sure this is nothing compared to the banana shortage that we had here in Australia a little while ago! Prices went from around $3 per kg up to $12 per kg!

    We had a extreme banana shortage because of a cyclone or something…

  21. sleze69 says:

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