Hurricane Ian may have been downgraded today to a tropical storm, but we’ll be feeling the effects of that weather event for a while. As countless businesses and homes in Florida work to regain electricity and clear out flooding, not only will the supply of just about everything be impacted in the areas where the hurricane hit the hardest, but we’re also already seeing food prices rise across the country as a result.
From just Tuesday to Wednesday this week, the price of orange juice concentrate rose 5%, CNN reports. The storm directly hit much of what is known as Florida’s citrus belt, all of which is at risk of heavy flooding, and at least one-third of orange groves could see substantial damage from winds. Even if the trees themselves come out of this still able to produce fruit, the oranges that were just about ready to be harvested will have likely dropped or been rendered inedible.
This natural disaster adds to an already dwindling citrus supply across the U.S. due to drought in California and an already detrimental citrus greening problem in Florida causing trees to produce less fruit. As of now, U.S. orange production is at the lowest level it’s been in 55 years, and it could take years for the industry to recover.
Tampa-based company Mosaic provides half of all granular phosphate fertilizer sold to North American farmers, and the plant that produces it was right in the middle of Hurricane Ian’s path, Bloomberg reports. That plant could be out of commission for a few weeks, which could affect crop production at farms across the country. The effects of that might not be seen in the immediate future, but could impact produce prices on through the end of the year and beyond.
According to ABC News analysts, because the storm avoided big oil-producing states Texas and Louisiana, the gas supply (and therefore gas prices) should be unaffected—so fear not, your beer is safe for now. Just don’t expect an orange slice with that brewski.