Coffee prices rise but falter towards end of March

march coffee prices

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) composite indicator rose slightly in March, averaging 120.36 US cents per pound, confirming an upward trend over the last five months.

This marks an 0.8 per cent increase compared to 119.35 US cents per pound in February.

The ICO says this is the highest monthly average since coffee year 2017/18.

However, this upward trend reversed and prices weakened in the final days of the month, recording their lowest levels in the last two days of the month.

In March 2021, the daily composite indicator fluctuated between 115.42 US cents per pound and 125.30 US cents per pound. The ICO says uncertainty of regular supply to the market, due to various pendemic restrictions and climactic events, seems to support coffee prices while increasing the volatility of the uptrend.

Total exports by exporting countries to all destinations totalled 10.47 million bags in February 2021, compared with 11.16 million bags in February 2020.

The ICO provisionally estimates cumulative exports from March 2020 to February 2021 at 128.57 million bags, against 130.97 million bags recorded from March 2019 to February 2020.

Exports over the first five months of coffee year 2020/21 totalled 52.81 million bags compared to 51.53 million in coffee year 2019/20.

World consumption for coffee year 2020/21 is projected at 166.62 million bags, an increase of 1.3 per cent on its level of 164.5 million bags in coffee year 2019/20.

The ICO attributed this to at-home consumption increasing, offsetting the reduction of out-of-home consumption caused by social distancing measures while global economy recovers at a slow pace.

However, the ICO projects world consumption will fall 3.11 per cent below estimated total production of 171.89 million bags in coffee year 2020/21, resulting in a surplus of 5.3 million bags.

In coffee year 2020/21, global production is estimated to rise by 1.9 per cent to 171.89 million bags, with Arabica production growing by 5.2 per cent to 101.88 million bags. The production of Robusta coffee is expected to decrease by 2.6 per cent to 70.02 million bags.

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