Orange juice prices climbed to around 4% to US$1.8080 per pound yesterday (4 January)

Orange juice prices climbed to around 4% to US$1.8080 per pound yesterday (4 January)

Orange juice futures rallied this week on fears that a cold snap in Florida could damage fruit.

On the ICE Futures Exchange, orange juice prices climbed to around 4% to US$1.8080 per pound on Wednesday (4 January). Freezing temperatures in Florida on Tuesday night and concern over potential supply disruption pushed prices up.

In an update yesterday, trade association Florida Citrus Mutual said that the cold weather had continued for a second night.

"Although by no means catastrophic, we have received reports of slush ice and twig and leaf damage," the association said. "We will not know the full extent of the damage for the next several days, however, I do expect at least a moderate impact."

Prices settled at $1.7807 per pound in trading yesterday.

The US Agriculture Department has forecast Florida's orange crop at 147m boxes this year. Citrus production is forecast to total 11.7m tons, up by 7% from the 2009 to 2010 season.

Florida accounts for around 63% of total US citrus production.