Having a large family, I buy own-brand orange juice in large quantities from whoever sells it cheapest - usually Lidl, Aldi or Tesco. 35p/litre would be a typical price.
Last week Aldi & Lidl hiked their prices to 48p - by strange chance the same as Tesco had raised theirs to.This week they're 58/59p ! Same at Morrisons. Sainsburys never was cheap.
The price of bog-standard juice from concentrate has increased by 70% in about a month.
What's going on ? Is this a Gloucestershire cartel thing or is it happening everywhere ?
A quick Google tells me that Hurricane Wilma and a few of her little friends have done bad things to Florida over the past few years.
The initial U.S. all-orange forecast ("the all-orange forecast" - I like it. Is that like the All-Shares Index ? - LT) for the 2006-07 season is 7.89 million tons, down 11% from last season's final output of 8.9 million, according to a report from the U.S. Agriculture Department released Thursday.
Florida's all-orange forecast of 135 million boxes was down 9% from last year's "hurricane-reduced crop," the USDA said.
That would be the lowest Florida orange crop since 1990, according to the Associated Press.
That latest prediction was also 44% lower than the final utilization for the 2003-04 season, which was the state's last nonhurricane-reduced crop, the USDA said.
"It's becoming harder to grow oranges in Florida," said Todd Hultman, president of Dailyfutures.com.
As of Aug 31, there were 888 million pounds of frozen orange juice in cold storage in the United States, he said. That's down 36% from a year ago.
The strange thing is that freshly squeezed own-brand Florida is still £1.39/l or £2/2l in Morrisons - no change at all. Why isn't the price of fresh affected ? And why does a 17% wholesale rise translate into a 70% retail one ?
According to this September BBC article, the evil Americans are erecting trade barriers to Brazilian juice to protect the Florida growers, so the juice floods into the EU but trickles into the US. It's certainly not flooding into these parts.