World prices of coffee They have moderated in the last year on the prospect of higher production, despite their last rebound in February, to almost 175 cents (about 165 euro cents) per pound produced.
The latest report from the International Coffee Organization (ICO) indicates that average prices per pound of coffee (equivalent to about 453 grams) increased in February by 11.4% compared to the previous month.
However, given the improvement in supply, the composite index of this organization has fallen more than 25% since February 2022, when it shot above 200 cents (about 189 cents).
The London futures market grew 9.8% in February and the ICE market in the United States contracted 13.2%, according to the OIC.
In the first four months of harvest, between October and January, coffee exports totaled about 39.9 million bags, 6% less than in the same period of the 2021-2022 season.
The drop is more pronounced among soft coffees (14% in Colombia) compared to smaller declines in sales of natural coffee from Brazil (-1.6%) and robusta (-2.9%).
The head of Operations of the OIC, Gerardo Patacconi, details to Efe that the production of the coffee year 2022-2023 will stand at 171 million bags, compared to 169 million from 2021-2022; and consumption will amount to 179 million compared to 176 million in the previous period.
These figures are being revised and new estimates will be released soon, according to Patacconi.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) slightly raises the forecasts and argues in a recent report that global coffee production for 2022-2023 will increase by 6.6 million bags compared to the previous harvest, to 172.8 million.
He attributes the rise mainly to the fact that Brazil’s Arabica harvest has entered the best year of its biennial production cycle.
According to USDA, coffee consumption in the world will grow by 800,000 bags to 167.9 million, with a boost mainly in the European Union, the United States and Brazil.
Grain exports are expected to fall by 3 million bags to 116.1 million, as losses in Brazil, Vietnam and India offset gains in Honduras and Colombia, while ending stocks will rise slightly to 34.1 million.
Analyst Neil Rosser, who participated in the fourth edition of the International Trade Center (ITC) Coffee Guide, points out that climate has been the “big driver” of green coffee prices in recent years.
This has happened in Brazil, where a series of episodes of drought, frost and torrential rains have impacted crops, or in Colombia, with the last two crops damaged by the continuous rains associated with the La Niña phenomenon.
Another problem is rising production costs, according to Rosser, who adds that coffee is labor-intensive and many farmers have left the countryside in regions such as Central America, so more young people need to be attracted.
The pandemic has altered consumption habits in many countries, there has been a concentration of marketing companies and there are still certain logistical problems, says the expert.
In his opinion, consumption is maintained despite the fact that coffee is more expensive, with a tendency to drink cheaper mixtures in times of crisis.
SITUATION IN SPAIN
Sources from the Spanish Coffee Association (AECafé) assure Efe that coffee has proven to be a “resilient product to the crisis”, although they continue to affect inflation and higher energy costs.
In recent years they have observed “a good development of coffee culture” in Spain, where the total production of roasted and soluble coffee exceeds 209,000 tons.
Every day, 19 million cups of coffee are consumed in the catering sector and 46.5 million in distribution.
AECafé highlights that coffee companies continue to promote actions in terms of innovation and are committed to sustainability and product traceability, with initiatives such as those that seek to provide a circular solution to coffee capsules or improve packaging recycling and ecodesign.
Other challenges are the future European regulation on deforestation, which will require more coordination with the countries of origin, or the legislative proposal related to packaging and its waste, which should take into account the demands of the sector to improve its competitiveness, according to the association.