High coffee price is ‘unsustainable’

The president of the National Association of Colombian Coffee Exporters said the price of coffee, the highest in 34 years, is “unsustainable” as it is not reflecting the current value, El Espectador reported Wednesday.

Jorge Humberto Botero said in relation to the high price of a bag of coffee beans “there in international speculation which is influenced by factors such as the economic crisis in Europe.”

Carlos Roberto Ramirez, Valle del Cauca representative for the National Committee of Coffee Growers said that the price being above the $3 per pound barrier is not suitable for growers because it could cause an imbalance in the market. “This takes away [coffee] markets from the country because not everyone buys at such high prices,” he stated.

Uncertainty in currency market has seen the price of all commodities rise sharply in recent months. In addition to this there are worries about a poor harvest due to the heavy winter rains in Colombia.

Portafolio reported that the Minister of Agriculture attributed the scarcity of Colombian coffee to high humidity, low sunshine and blocked transport routes.

Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo said high humidity will cause plant pests and diseases, such as “roya,” to spread more easily and that at least 98 major transport routes for foodstuffs have been adversely affected by the rainy season, especially in the Coffee Region comprised of the departments Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindio and other coffee growing departments like Valle del Cauca, Huila, Santander and Magdalena.

Analysts told Bloomberg that the problem of scarcity started with three consecutive years of poor coffee harvests in Colombia, and that the price will rise even higher with steady demand and concerns about the excessive rains.

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