Sunday, April 27, 2014

Coffee Is on a High

A cup of coffee and tablespoon. (Credit: Cookantean via Wikimedia Commons) Click to enlarge.
In recent days Arabica coffee beans – by far the most popular variety of coffee – have been fetching around US$2 a pound on the world market.  That’s nearly double the price of a year ago.

Several factors seem to be driving the market upwards:  in Central America, a significant production area, an outbreak of a disease called leaf rust – believed to be linked to changes in climate – has severely damaged the crop.

A prolonged period of drought and some unseasonably cold weather in Vietnam – now the world’s second biggest coffee-producer – has cut back crop forecasts for robusta beans, mainly used for instant coffee.  A lack of rain has also hit coffee-producing areas in East Africa.

But it’s climate-related events in Brazil, the world’s biggest coffee grower – responsible for about 40% of global production – which seem to be causing the most froth amongst international market traders.

Coffee Is on a High

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