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Apple juice to join commodities trading

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Kai Ryssdal: If, even after hearing what Bill Black had to say, you’re still looking for an investment opportunity, you might consider apple juice. Juice futures are set to be listed on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange because apple juice is replacing orange juice in a lot of fridges out there.

Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek-Smith has more.

Stacey Vanek-Smith: Apparently Americans have been comparing apples to oranges — and apples are gaining.

Beverage industry consultant Tom Pirko says OJ drinking is down: It’s is about half of what it was 30 years ago. Meanwhile, apple juice consumption tripled during that time.

Tom Pirko: Especially young drinkers seem to be more interested in drinking it as opposed to orange juice.

Are apples the next hot commodity trade?

Commodities broker Michael Smith is skeptical.

Michael Smith: There’s a lot of different commodities out there that really don’t trade. They used to have tiger shrimp on the Minneapolis exchange.

The Minneapolis exchange’s Rita Maloney says apple juice is different. Big-beverage companies approached the exchange looking for a way to protect against apple price spikes after things like freezes. She says demand for apple juice is on the rise.

Rita Maloney: You’ve got apple cranberry juice, you’ve got apple pomegranate juice and so forth. That blending doesn’t really come into play for oranges.

China’s consumption of apple juice is also on the rise. Maloney says soon, apple juice futures will be as common as… well, apple pie.

I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

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