Coffee is at its cheapest in three years (but your latte isn’t)


Coffee futures on IntercontinentalExchange, the commodities trading market, for arabica beans (not the cheaper, nastier robusta) traded below $1.30 per pound today for the first time since March 5, 2010. That continues a decline in prices since the April 29, 2011 high of $2.99 per pound.

This three-year low comes after heavy rains in Brazil’s growing regions failed to suppress the harvest as expected, and stockpiles of the bean remain high. The long-term decline in prices has prompted coffee makers J.M. Smucker and Kraft to lower the prices of their Maxwell House and Folgers brands. Starbucks has followed suit with its pre-packaged coffee, but hasn’t dropped prices for its over-the-counter beverages. So don’t go waving the graph above indignantly at your barista—there’s nothing he or she can do about it.

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