Bean price rise fueling storm in a coffee cup

The price of a cup of coffee could rise again soon – by up to 20 cents, according to some suppliers.
World coffee bean prices are at a 34-year high, pushing supermarket prices to record levels, according to Statistics NZ. A 100gm bag of instant coffee is a record $5.96, having risen $1.10 in the past year.
One suburban Wellington cafe was expected to put coffee up by 20 cents a cup shortly, to $4.20, compared with about $3.50 a year ago.
Nick Fry, operator of Lower Hutt’s Celsius Coffee, said it intended to hold its price at $3.90 a cup for now, but expected bean prices to remain high. Its green bean prices were up about 19 per cent.
Coffee bean importers say world prices have doubled in the past year, fueled by growing demand for coffee in China and India. Rising milk prices have also contributed to the rising price of a cup of coffee – up about 10 per cent in the past year.
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The cost of the beans in a cup of coffee is about $1 of the total retail price of about $4 for a flat white in central Wellington, according to one estimate. The balance of the cost is to pay for milk, cups, staff wages, rents and other overheads, as well as profit.
This week, Howard Schultz, president of Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee chain, attacked speculators for pushing up the price.
Mojo Coffee marketing and brand manager James O’Connell-Cooper said world coffee prices were “through the roof”, and it expected to lift the price of a cup by about 10c around July, from $3.90 now. “We are paying more than twice what we paid last year,” he said.
Less coffee was available because of bad weather, but also because of rising demand, especially from new markets in Asia.
But the beans were a relatively small part of the overall cost of the coffee. The really expensive item was the milk, as well as all the other costs of rent and wages.