The first meal of the day may soon become more expensive for consumers as food inflation soars.
A combination of citrus disease and adverse weather conditions have plagued Florida's orange crop and may soon constrain supplies, which has already forced orange juice prices to multi-year highs as demand remains robust.
"You have your classical supply-demand mismatch," Shawn Hackett, president of Hackett Financial Advisors, which specializes in agricultural commodities analysis, told CNN Bussiness. Due to dwindling supply, "much higher prices are coming to supermarkets," he warned.
Last week, the US Agriculture Department issued a report about the state of Florida's orange crop, revealing the Sunshine State will harvest only 44.5 million boxes of oranges this year, the smallest harvest since the 1944-45 season.
"The Florida citrus crop is going to be one of the smallest crops since the 1940s," said Judith Ganes, president of J Ganes Consulting, which offers commodities analysis to the food and agriculture industry.
"It's going to be even smaller than the production that occurred several years ago ... when Hurricane Irma blew through Florida," Ganes said.
In what appears to be a citrus shortage developing, frozen orange juice futures have been squeezed higher, up more than 50% since the start of the virus pandemic. Prices are around $1.55 per pound as speculators could send prices to as high as $2.
Besides oranges, prices of other agricultural commodities have risen over the last year as supply-chain disruptions and or bad weather has kept inventory low.
Breakfast is becoming more expensive. Consumers are paying some of the highest prices for food in a decade as their real wages are wiped out by inflation. None of this has helped President Biden ahead of the midterms as his polling numbers drop to new lows.