A perfect storm of rising consumption and a bad harvest year has set coffee prizes ablaze.
The iPath DJ-UBS Coffee ETN (JO) has jumped around 72% since the beginning of the year, making it among the top performing single commodity ETPs.
Consumption of coffee, especially in emerging markets, is expected to grow twice as fast compared to developed countries like Italy and the U.S., according to the International Coffee Organization. Big coffee exporting countries like Brazil, Colombia and Vietnam are keeping more of their coffee crop at home for local residents. And large coffee chains have taken notice.
Starbucks opened its first store in Bogota, Colombia, in July and plans to expand with 50 more stores over the next five years. Euromonitor estimates that Colombians will buy a record 72,500 tons of coffee this year.
Just as coffee demand is taking off, a severe drought in Brazil and a fungal disease in Central America have damaged crops. As a result, bagged coffee prices at U.S. grocery stores have increased between 8–9%.
Coffee’s sizzling performance this year is a stark contrast to a string of consecutive yearly losses that began in 2011.