February 13, 2017

Coffee Prices Rise – And Fall Again


The market price for coffee (aka the C price) is known for fluctuating – and nothing demonstrates that more than the January report from the International Coffee Organization (ICO). Here’s what it had to say.

Tumultuous Prices

In December 2016, the C price stood at 131.70 US cents/lb – having fallen from 145.82 US cents/lb in November. Then in January 2017, prices increased to 144.54 US cents/lb on January 23rd. However, they then started falling again. On January 31st, the C price was 140.07 cents/lb, with the monthly average sitting 139.07 US cents/lb.

While an increase of 5.6% from December, the C price has continued to fall into February. Farmers will be hoping this is just a small downturn in an overall upward-moving trend.

SEE ALSO: Mayra Orellana-Powell & Lowell Powell on Low Coffee Prices

ICO composite C price January 2017

Good News for Robusta

Robusta fared best of all the types of coffee, which at 108.32 US cents/lb is now at its highest monthly average since September 2011. Drought in Brazil led to shortages in a conilon crop; droughts in Indonesia and Vietnam – followed by flooding in the latter – have led to projected shortages. These have driven the price up. The ICO state that this has also led to higher prices for low-quality Arabicas, which will be used as a substitute.

Robusta coffee prices January 2017

Coffee Supply

Despite that, coffee supply is up in Vietnam and Indonesia for now. In fact, when you compare quarter 1 of the 2016/7 harvest to quarter 1 of the 2015/6 harvest, it’s up in nearly every country. Brazil is a major exception, with Arabica production down significantly; this, however, the ICO attributes to a strong crop the year before.

Coffee Supply ICO

Perfect Daily Grind

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