Production is set to fall by a quarter and inventories are at a six-year low. That sounds like a recipe for higher prices, say Emiko Terazono and Neil Hume in the FT. But orange juice future prices have stayed stuck in a narrow range between $1.10 and $1.60 a pound.
The problem is a long-term decline in demand. Global consumption, led by the US and the EU, has dwindled by over a fifth in ten years. The key issue is a shift away from sugary drinks as health consciousness has spread, while the range of soft drinks on the market has expanded; smoothies, vegetable blends, and coconut water are all nibbling away at the orange juice market. In emerging markets, meanwhile, it remains a relatively expensive drink, which has put consumers off.