Industry Insights

Monday 23 JanuaryCaroline Whitehead

Orange Harvest Crisis - Free Advice

There has been a lot of publicity surrounding the hurricanes and the orange tree disease that hit Florida last year, and the on-going impact on the availability and price of oranges.


So, what’s happening?


The problem started in 2005 in southern Florida when trees fell foul to a bacterium causing citrus greening or HLB disease.


The tiny flying insect that transmits the disease, the Asian citrus psyllid, has been blown across the area by various hurricanes, which also brought down many orange trees. So, the region’s farmers have been dealt a double blow.

They have spent millions of dollars on research into ways to combat the disease, but, thus far, the scientists have drawn a blank (The Guardian 16/10/16).

The disease causes the fruit to drop early and eventually kills the trees. Now many growers are giving up, turning to other crops or selling their land for housing.

The shortage of oranges for processing in the USA has pushed up both the price of fruit and processed Orange Juice Concentrate from Brazil, for spot market and one-year contracts, to an unprecedented average (USD/t) $3000 CFR Rotterdam from a 52week low of (USD/t)$1800 CFR Rotterdam (source FoodNews 11/1/17).

It’s now also being suggested by Brazil’s Advanced Research Centre in Applied Economics (CEPEA) that Brazil’s orange juice stocks may be wiped out entirely this season.

For many US orange juice companies this challenge has led to them getting more creative with how they sell their juice to consumers.

For starters, in the US, some have reduced carton sizes to save the general public from big price hikes in supermarkets and they have looked at blending and mixing other juices in to help too.

So how can we help here at Cobell?  We would advise you to call us to chat about contracting volume and we can give you our free and friendly advice on the topic.

Don’t forget that our NPD team can also assist you if you’re looking for ideas on blending or mixing in other juices with your range. We’d love to hear from you, so do get in touch by calling our sales team on +44 (0)1392 825400 or emailing