Florida’s hurricane season is standing between you and orange juice

Living through a juice shortage.
Living through a juice shortage.
Image: Reuters/Gary Cameron
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It’s bad news for breakfast addicts and mimosa-guzzling brunch loyalists alike. As Florida braces for Tropical Storm Colin to hit the US coast, the price of orange juice is starting to rise.

The threat of the storm—which comes early in the hurricane season—has driven the price of orange juice to its highest level in more than two years. The US is the second-largest producer of oranges after Brazil, which earlier this year suffered from weather-related incidents that damaged its orange groves.

The cost of orange juice could continue rising during the next several months, thanks to a particularly active season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said 10 to 16 storms could come hurtling toward the US coast this year, putting orange groves directly in their paths.

Besides weather woes, the Florida citrus industry is wrestling a more insidious issue: citrus greening. Some farmers have called citrus greening—the effects of an invasive little bug that brings a bacterial disease to groves—an even bigger threat than hurricanes.