Northland coffee prices not expected to change

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Barista Emma Larkin making a coffee at Essence. Photo / John Stone
Barista Emma Larkin making a coffee at Essence. Photo / John Stone

Good news for Northland coffee lovers: prices won't go up despite pressure on the supply of beans due to a drought in Brazil.

Dry weather across Brazil's coffee belt is affecting production of Arabica and robusta beans which has led to speculation that coffee prices could rise.

Brazil is the world's largest producer of coffee beans, followed by Vietnam and Colombia.

Coffee roasters and cafes the Northern Advocate spoke to said since their suppliers source coffee beans from other countries as well, price charges to consumers would not change.

Alan Ludlow, owner of Essence on Bank St, said there was no alarm at this stage as most coffee makers tended to buy beans from a number of suppliers throughout the world.

He buys from Allpress NZ and the company has assured him there was no shortage of supplies.

"They [Allpress] have reps who operate in an area in Brazil where there's no concern about supplies. In the last eight years we've been operating, price of coffee has slightly gone up once only," he said.

Tiger Mountain Coffee in Kaeo also has no concerns about supply at this stage as the company buys from Indonesia, Africa, Colombia, and Guatemala.

Owner and roaster Paul Tucker said although the price of coffee may not go up, a shortage of beans in Brazil had a slight flow-on effect.

"The trouble is so many use Brazilian coffee, especially the US market, which is enormous but it doesn't bode well for the whole coffee industry.

"World coffee prices are set in New York and if it's a bad year, that would come back and bite them," he said.

Another factor weighing in New Zealand's favour is the high dollar against the US currency which means Northland coffee roasters had more purchasing power. Coffee is usually traded in US dollars.

New Zealand has one of the highest number of coffee roasters per capita.

- Northern Advocate

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