Florida's Orange Crop at 76-Year Low Crushed by Hurricane Irma

October 10, 2017 11:18 AM
Orange groves under water

(Bloomberg) -- The lowest since 1942.

At 31 million boxes, that’s the level for Florida’s orange crop following damage from Hurricane Irma, a state citrus group said Tuesday.

Irma ripped through in September, causing an estimated $2.5 billion in damage to the state’s agriculture, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said on Oct. 4. Preliminary estimates showed $760.8 million in damage to the citrus industry.

In the season that ended Sept. 30, orange output was 68.7 million boxes, the lowest since 1964, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. The record low was 4 million boxes in 1918. The data goes back to 1913.

Orange juice for November delivery rose 1.6 percent to $1.60 a pound at 10:53 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price has climbed 20 percent since the end of August. A box weighs 90 pounds, or 41 kilograms.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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