Arctic chill: Temps go down, prices go up

10:20 PM, Jan 9, 2010   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- While winter has a frosty grip on much of the nation, make no mistake, the one-two--sub-zero punch will cost you both at the checkout and the gas pump.

Cold can be relative. 

For example, when it drops to 55 in Florida--people wear scarves.

Overnight when it drops to freezing, the sprinklers are turned on to try and save the crops.

The water helps keep things warmer because fruit cannot bear the freezing temps.

But if it's cold for much longer in the Sunshine State we may pay for it in Minnesota. 

If crops are damaged, the price per grapefruit or any other fruit will increase and citrus may be just the tip of the iceberg. 

"The price of oil right now, yesterday was about $82 dollars and now about $83," explained Dr. David Vang from St. Thomas University's Finance Department. "And that was kind of in the range where we started getting gasoline prices over $3 dollars a gallon." 

Vang said if the cold continues across the nation we could very well see gas prices above three bucks again. 

An increase in heat and energy costs could follow.

This wouldn't happen if it was just the Midwest caught in the usual grasp of winter, but because nearly every state has been hit, nearly every thermostat goes up and when demand increases inevitably so does the price. 

"Whether we realize it or not we're all contributing to the increase the demand for that good," said Vang. 

Prices could rise not only for the fruit, but for the juice.

Orange juice futures are at a two year high at $1.49 per pound because of the concern over the cold.













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