Orange Juice Prices Soaring

Freshly squeezed? You're going to pay more for that glass of breakfast OJ.

Orange juice prices have hit two-year highs because the crop in Florida has been hit hard, not only by an unusually cold winter, but also a fruit disease that has stunted orange growth and reduced the amount of juice the Sunshine State squeezes from its signature fruit.

This year’s crop is approaching the fruit’s lowest harvest in 24 years. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast the 2013-2014 orange harvest at 110.0 million boxes, which is 18 percent less than last season’s.

Price hikes at the grocery store are inevitable after frozen concentrated orange juice futures rose 3 percent, or 4.8 cents, on Wednesday, to $1.6030 a pound, At one point during trading, the contract shot up to $1.6180, its highest since April 2012.

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