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Coffee lovers will be dismayed to see the spike in the arabica price, as these beans account for between 75-80% of the coffee drunk. The reason for this squeeze in the price is a decrease in productivity, with crops yielding 10% less than they did in January on a year-on-year basis. This drop has compounded the dire figures we have seen over the last four months, with yields now being around 60% less than the preceding year.
Numerous regions of Brazil, one of the largest coffee-growing countries in the world, have suffered from a shortage of rainfall in the last six months. Currently they have received only 20-25% of normal levels. It is anticipated that this will change in the months ahead, although crop growth is unlikely to catch up to the normal quota. In other regions in South America a number of other issues have also arisen, such as infestations of ’leaf rust‘ that have badly hampered production.
None of these difficulties are likely to damage the industry in the long run, but all are partially responsible for the short-term lack of supply.