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Orange Juice Futures Crater as Farmers Avoid Brunt of Hurricane Irma

Summary:
Orange juice futures are crashing as much as 5% on Thursday as farmers avoided the brunt of Hurricane Irma. When Irma was about to make landfall, traders ventured into orange juice, betting that farmers would be devastated by the historic weather event. It turns out that the growers missed much of it. November orange juice futures tumbled %excerpt%.062, or 3.98%, to .494 per pound at 16:30 GMT on Thursday on the ICE Futures exchange. Orange juice prices reached four-month highs last week, and garnered a 20% weekly gain, but the commodity is now retreating. Year-to-date, orange juice prices have plummeted 20%. Despite initial fears that Irma would destroy crops, Florida citrus growers appear to have dodged the worst of Irma. Irma was listed as a Category 5 hurricane last week, but it was lowered

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Orange juice futures are crashing as much as 5% on Thursday as farmers avoided the brunt of Hurricane Irma. When Irma was about to make landfall, traders ventured into orange juice, betting that farmers would be devastated by the historic weather event. It turns out that the growers missed much of it.

November orange juice futures tumbled $0.062, or 3.98%, to $1.494 per pound at 16:30 GMT on Thursday on the ICE Futures exchange. Orange juice prices reached four-month highs last week, and garnered a 20% weekly gain, but the commodity is now retreating.

Year-to-date, orange juice prices have plummeted 20%.

Despite initial fears that Irma would destroy crops, Florida citrus growers appear to have dodged the worst of Irma. Irma was listed as a Category 5 hurricane last week, but it was lowered to a tropical storm, dumping buckets of rain and bringing powerful winds to the Sunshine State. However, Irma traveled further west and refrained from striking the center of the state, where most oranges are grown.

There were reports of some loss to crops, but it was not as severe as some investors anticipated. Industry experts also say that there was not any damage to orange processing plants.

Senator Marco Rubio, touring his part of the state, noted that the industry has been facing challenges.

Citrus is the crop that Florida’s associated with and it’s already facing significant challenges. Economically, it’s an enormous priority for the state. We wanted to make sure this did [not] get lost in this broader relief effort.

Any long-term effects that Florida would have suffered from Irma may have been offset by Brazil, which is projected to have a massive crop this year. Brazil, the world’s largest producer of oranges, is forecast to produce 471 million boxes this year, up from 352 million in 2016–2017. This is the biggest output since 2012–2013.

Other key Florida markets were negatively affected by Irma, particularly cotton, which experienced an estimated $150 million worth of damages.

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Andrew Moran
I am a full-time professional writer. Prior to my self-employment, I worked as a reporter for Digital Journal covering the politics beat and The Toronto Times reporting on the city’s entertainment scene. I currently write mostly about business, marketing and finance

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