International coffee prices rally to 12-month high

International coffee prices

November 2019 marked the first time in the last 12 months that international coffee prices consistently stayed over 100 US cents per pound, according to the International Coffee Organization (ICO) Composite Indicator.

The monthly average of the indicator rose 10.1 per cent to 107.23 US cents per pound amid expectations of a global deficit in coffee year 2019/20, estimated at 502,000 bags.

The daily price of the ICO composite rose from 102.74 US cents per pound at the beginning of November to a high of 111.86 US cents per pound on 25 November, before closing the month at 111.77 US cents per pound.

Prices for all group indicators rose in November 2019. Brazilian Naturals saw the largest increase, of 12.1 per cent to 109.94 US cents per pound. The ICO says this in part reflects the biennial decline in the production of Brazilian Arabica as well as the weakness of the Brazilian currency.

Other Milds rose 11 per cent to 140.98 US cents per pound, while Colombian Milds rose 10.6 per cent to 146.12 US cents per pound. The differential between Colombian Milds and Other Milds continued its ascent in November 2019, rising 0.8 per cent to 5.14 US cents per pound. Prices for Robustas increased 6.8 per cent month-on-month to 73.28 US cents per pound.

Arbitrage between Arabica and Robusta coffees, as measured on the New York and London futures markets, increased sharply to 50.31 US cents per pound, its highest level since January 2017. The New York futures market rose 10.6 per cent, to an average of 113.31 US cents per pound in November 2019, as certified stocks fell to their lowest level since June 2018, while the London futures market climbed 8 per cent to 63 US cents per pound.

Global exports of coffee in October 2019 fell by 13.4 per cent, to 8.91 million bags, compared to the same month in the previous year. The ICO says a mix of factors, including unfavourable weather patterns and prolonged low international prices, have contributed to a decline in shipments across all regions.

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