Anyone who counts on a cup of hot brewed coffee, an espresso or an icy Starbucks concoction to get them through the first dark hours of the day will be likely be paying a bit more for their caffeine fix. Arabica coffee futures just jumped to a 13-year high, and robusta beans weren't far behind.
Globally, the International Coffee Organization says that stocks of coffee beans are at extremely low levels, which increases futures market volatility. Commodity futures brokers and traders watching the coffee markets react more strongly to signs of supply disruption when there's a lack of reserves to fill in for shortfalls.
Coffee "C" futures for March 2011 delivery rose 1.636 percent to 201.65 cents per pound on the IntercontinentalExchange, after earlier touching the 204-cents-per-pound mark.
"Over the last six months a highly speculative green coffee market and dramatically increased commodity costs have completely altered the economic and financial picture of many players in the coffee industry," Howard Schultz, the outspoken chief executive officer of Starbucks, said last month.
The current price surge is being driven by supply concerns from South America, where Brazil's coffee trees are entering a lower-producing part of a biannual cycle and Colombia is fighting a corrosive "roya" fungus.
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