Coffee Prices Over the Years

The New York Times just published an article saying that your daily coffee habit is about to get more expensive. They note the fact that climate issues in Brazil and export problems due to civil unrest in Colombia, the two biggest exporters of Arabica coffee, have conspired to drive coffee futures up. And, if you check CME Group coffee futures, you can see that September 2021 coffee futures are $1.84 a pound while December 2022 futures are $1.93 a pound. Coffee prices over the years go up and down. Is this any different?

Coffee Prices Go Up and Down

Macro Trends published a chart of coffee price variations from September of 1973 through July of 2021. As the chart shows, coffee prices go up and down over the years with $3.23 a pound in 1977 and $2.88 a pound in April of 2011 being the highest price spikes over that time period. During that same period coffee fell to $.0.51 a pound in August of 1992 and $0.45 a pound in November of 2001.

Coffee Prices Over the Years
Coffee Prices Over the Years Since 1973

Coffee traders are looking at higher coffee prices in the coming months and years as shown by CME Group coffee futures.

Coffee Prices Over the Years - CME Futures
CME Coffee Futures

How Much Do You Pay for Colombian Coffee?

In Colombia coffee farmers are paid based on the CME price for dried green coffee beans that they present to their local cooperative. Price adjustments are made (downward) for any imperfections and a premium is paid for Arabica coffee grown in the Colombian coffee growing district running from Caldas down to Huila and West to Antioquia. At Buy Organic Coffee in Manizales we purchase coffee from local growers, cooperatives, and small local coffee processors and roasters. The price that we pay is free from middle-man expenses and is for fresh coffee from the most recent harvest. Because we purchase at the source in Colombia and arrange shipping directly to you in the USA or anywhere in the world, our prices for high quality Arabica coffee from Colombia typically beans prices paid for coffee of equal quality anywhere in the world.

How High Will the Price of Coffee Go?

CME Group coffee futures for the end of 2022 are going for just under $2 a pound and that price lasts into futures for July of 2023. Baring other unforeseen events, we are not looking at matching or surpassing the peak prices seen in the last fifty years, at least not in the near term. Looking longer down the line you need to consider climate change and coffee production. It is likely in the decades to come, that higher quality coffee (Arabica) will be scarcer and more expensive. The prevailing weather patterns across the North and West of South America are such that droughts and forest fires seen elsewhere are unlikely. More rain simply runs down the mountain sides where coffee is planted so crops are not drowned out. Flooding in low areas such as the Cauca River Valley around Cali affects crops like sugar cane and pineapple but not coffee.

Over the next decades we expect Arabica coffee prices denominated in US dollars to double or triple depending on any devaluation of the dollar.

Coffee Prices Over the Years – Slideshare Version

Coffee Prices Over the Years – PDF

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