As if Bush doesn't have enough to worry about, it appears that O.J. is hitting multiyear lows:

The record forecast in October sent the price juice processors pay for oranges to its lowest level in more than a decade. About 95 percent of Florida's annual orange crop goes to juice.

Processors in October were paying an average 50 cents per pound solids, said Melanie Burns, the director of market information for Lakelandbased Florida Citrus Mutual, the state's largest growers' representative.

Pound solids is standard industry measure of how much juice with a specific sugar content is squeezed from oranges. The declining crop since then has boosted the current price for early-mids to about 55 cents a pound solids, Burns said. That matches the average price growers got in the 1992-93 season, the lowest in the past 21 seasons.

So if Bush loses Florida, commentators will probably blame it on this or that, when it really is the O.J.. How pissed would you be that almost every other commodity has been hitting new highs, at least for the last couple of years, while yours isn't? Expect some sort of federal price support program announcement or at least a very alarming warning from the Surgeon General about the evils of the Atkins Diet.

Click to see ten-year chart of O.J.

Click here to see a list of commodity futures, then the little c on the far right and choose the time frame you want. Most of them actually topped out in March, but are still at above average prices.


Actually, looks like a good time to grab a few calls, maybe ones that expire in about six months.

This explains the low price of orange juice. On sale, I paid $1.77 for a half-gallon for Tropicana.

Fortunately, if Trading Places is to be taken as an accurate source of economic information, Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy are poised to make a killing.

Atkins is definitely a culprit:

Orange juice consumption is at an all-time low, according to Florida Citrus Mutual, a trade association of 11,000 citrus growers. In the past two years, orange juice consumption has dropped about 5 percent. Last year, Americans drank about 4.7 gallons of orange juice. In 1997, the figure was 5.8 gallons. Since 1999, overall orange juice consumption has dropped 10.8 percent.

In the past year -- the time that corresponds to the growing popularity of the South Beach Diet -- that drop has been particularly noticeable. In the 52 weeks preceding April 18 alone, chilled orange juice sales fell 4.1 percent by volume, according to Information Resources Inc., a Chicago-based market research firm.
"The low-carb diet is the single biggest factor in the decrease in orange juice sales," says Dan Gunter, executive director for the Florida Department of Citrus.
"Slightly under 80 percent of American households right now buy orange juice," says Gunter. "Two years ago, it was about 81 percent." Gunter added the drop was particularly noticeable in the "heavy user" category -- households that consume 12.5 gallons or more annually.
In December 2003, the Florida citrus department asked the A.C. Nielsen Co. to investigate the sales drop and look at the connection between low-carb attitudes and orange juice. The findings: Over the past year, of the 2,600 households randomly surveyed, 26 percent of people knowingly reduced their orange juice consumption. And of that 26 percent, 35 percent did so because of low-carb dieting.

They do not appear to be asking for price supports--yet.


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This page contains a single entry by Bob published on June 15, 2004 12:44 AM.

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