Coffee prices get jolt in jittery economy – Business – CBC News
The slowing global economy is having an effect on the price of coffee, as cash conscious consumers ditch their latte habits in favour of plain old cups of joe.
The two most commonly produced varieties of coffee in the world are arabica and robusta.
Drawing their name from the Arabian mountains of Yemen and Ethiopia, arabica beans tend to be of higher quality and are processed more carefully. Because they only grow at altitudes higher than 610 metres above sea level, they’re a lot more expensive to harvest but are prized for their taste — Arabica’s spot price hit a 34-year high north of $3 per pound in April of last year.
While most commercial coffee brands use a blend of the two, robusta beans are easier to harvest and more disease-resistant — which tends to make them cheaper, although most connoisseurs believe they produce an inferior product.
“Robusta has genes that can give it a wet cardboard, rubbery smell and taste,” says John Rapinchuk, the chief financial officer of San Francisco-based Knutsen Coffees Ltd.
As unappetizing as that sounds, demand for robusta beans has soared this year, as consumers downgrade their coffee budgets.
Arabica shipments are down by eight per cent over last year’s level, while robusta exports are booming — up 10.4 per cent from where they were a year ago.
That’s pushing the price for robusta higher, with the price of beans increasing 22 per cent since January to $1.17 US per pound.
Consumption of the higher-end arabica beans in rich European nations, meanwhile, has cratered since January due to what the International Coffee Organization charitably describes as “macroeconomic turbulence.”
Strange Random Coffee Quote:
“Police work wouldn’t be possible without coffee,” Wallander said.
“No work would be possible without coffee.”
They pondered the importance of coffee in silence.
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Posted on June 8, 2012, in Article and tagged CBC News, Coffea arabica, Coffee, Coffee Prices, Henning Mankell, International Coffee Organization, Robusta coffee, San Francisco, Yemen. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.