Hurricane Irma could drive up produce prices in Arizona
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - One Valley expert says Hurricane Irma can cause a number of issues when it comes to produce, and not just ruined crops.
"Florida is a really big citrus growing area, so that's one thing we want to definitely keep our eye on," Willie Itule said.
Itule is the owner of Willie Itule Produce in Phoenix and says the oranges grown in Florida are used for juicing, so if the hurricane hits hard enough as predicted, juice prices will likely go up, but Itule says his business is all about supply and demand.
The other issue is the hurricane has already shut down ports in Miami.
"That's where you will see immediate spikes going up and down because they're not able to bring it in and you have to remember that part of the country feeds the whole eastern part of the United States," Itule said.
If the West Coast has to pick up the slack, Itule says it goes back to supply and demand. If what is used or needed in Arizona is shipped out, prices here can go up.
The biggest concern, Itule says, are future crops and produce prices in the winter.
"If the field and crops get damaged a little bit or they can't get in then you're going to hit a gap down the road," he said. "That's when you'll probably see more and more spikes in produce going up and down."
If prices go up, our Valley expert says expect them to go down in a couple of weeks.