If history repeats itself, the deep freeze that’s destroying Brazilian coffee crops isn’t a good sign for morning joe costs.
Sadly for caffeine addicts, the last time a severe frost hit coffee fields in the world’s biggest exporter in 1994, it didn’t take long for retail prices to surge to a record. Futures began rallying in April of that year and peaked in July. Then, between June and August, the average price for consumers soared from $2.60 to a then record $4.48 a pound, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A further spike in 1997 had futures peaking in May, and retail prices hitting a new high in August.
Another major rally in futures prices took place in May of 2011, and consumer prices rose steadily through November of 2012 to a record $6.07 a pound.
This year’s frostbite is coming on top of container shipping delays and a drought that hurt Brazil’s 2021 crop, which is already making supplies tight.