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US records its smallest orange crop since the 1930s. What does this mean for Australia?

The global futures price for frozen orange juice concentrate (FOJC) has hit a record high in 2023, jumping more than 60 per cent year-on-year.

The skyrocketing price is mostly because of production issues in the major citrus-growing US state of Florida, which is forecast to produce its smallest orange crop since the 1930s.

Speaking to ABC Landline, fourth generation citrus grower Kyle Story said Florida’s citrus harvest had been challenged by extreme weather events such as freezing temperatures, cyclones, hail storms and a drought.

He said production had also been decimated by orchards succumbing to citrus greening disease (Huanglongbing).

“In Florida we’ve seen some dismal production numbers because of citrus greening and the effect of that disease, with older trees going out of production at an accelerated rate,” he said.

“Citrus greening is just the most devastating thing we’ve ever witnessed and by far the number one ongoing threat.”

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Author: Matt Brann

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