Orange Juice Flat As Hurricane Isaias Grazes Florida

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Orange juice futures are trading relatively flat on Thursday as Hurricane Isaias grazed the state of Florida this week. Investors had been betting on more damage from the weather event, lifting orange juice prices, but after it was learned that the hurricane did more damage offshore, traders hit the sell button.

September orange juice futures dipped $0.003, or 0.26%, to $1.1485 per pound at 17:00 GMT on Thursday on the US ICE Futures exchange. Orange juice prices have had a strong 2020, stemming mostly from higher consumer demand. Year-to-date, the agricultural commodity is up 15.2%, but it has slipped more than 11% over the last month.

Isaias touched The Sunshine State slightly earlier this week, slamming Florida with rain and gusty winds. The same thing occurred in Georgia. Isaias transformed from a tropical storm into a hurricane after it left Florida. But with the US about to see the peak of hurricane season, the worst is not over.

This turned out to be bad news for orange juice investors as poured into contracts ahead of the storm. Once it turned out to be a dud, prices cratered more than 4%.

Still, orange juice has had an incredible 2020 because of renewed demand for the classic breakfast staple. Many households have started consuming orange juice again, primarily for health reasons. Since orange juice has been found to boost your immune system, more shoppers have turned to a glass every morning to protect themselves from the coronavirus. Plus, with more people staying home from work, orange juice is being consumed a lot more each morning.

US orange farmers have been battered in recent years for a variety of reasons. Brazil has taken over as the top orange producer, consumers had been drinking fewer amounts of orange juice due to higher sugar content, and citrus greening had been decimating crops for the last four to five years.

In other agricultural commodities, September corn futures were unchanged at $3.11 per pound. September wheat futures tumbled $0.0825, or 1.62%, to $5.025 a bushel. September soybean futures were also flat at $8.785 per bushel.

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