Japan suffers orange juice shortages

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Japan suffers orange juice shortages

Japan is experiencing orange juice shortages due to adverse weather and fruit tree disease in orange-producing countries, coupled with a spike in prices.

Brazil, the world's largest orange juice producer, is battling the incurable citrus greening disease and extreme droughts, which have led to a poor harvest and an increase in orange juice prices.

The predicted poor crop in Brazil, which accounts for 70% of all orange juice exports, marks the third consecutive difficult global harvest.

Earlier this year, Fundecitrus Brazil, an association maintained by citrus growers and juice manufacturers in the State of São Paulo, announced that orange production in the country is expected to drop by 24% in 2024.

Back in May, Juliano Ayres, the director of Fundecitrus, noted that Brazil has struggled significantly with citrus greening, adding, "To stay competitive, the citrus industry depends on overcoming citrus greening."

The United States, another major producer of orange juice, has been battling greening disease and was hit by a series of hurricanes in the past month.

In addition to shortages and global orange juice price spikes, the depreciation of the yen has led to a surge in orange juice prices in Japan.

According to the Japan Fruit Juice Association, the price of imported orange juice was 259 yen ($1.60) per liter in 2020, but it climbed to 491 yen in 2023, an increase of more than 50% in yen terms.

The average import price of frozen concentrated orange juice soared from ¥293 per liter in 2021 to ¥550 in 2023 and ¥706 in the first quarter of 2024, based on estimates from the Finance Ministry's trade statistics.

The upward momentum in orange juice prices shows no signs of abating. On the U.S. Intercontinental Exchange, the key frozen concentrated orange juice futures contract hit an all-time high in May.

Supply shortages have forced many Japanese orange juice makers to suspend local sales.

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