Arabica beans are sold in futures contracts through the ICE U.S. commodity exchange. Robusta beans are sold on the Intercontinental exchange.
Investors also track the price of coffee through two exchange traded funds on the NASDAQ called CAFE and JO. Follow the links to see when to stock up on your favorite brew or even instant if you must.
Because of the amount of world consumption, coffee is one of the most widely traded commodities. Coffee is traded on the commodity exchanges and purchased by suppliers and others to protect against price fluctuations. It is also traded by investors purchasing funds correlated to the daily price of coffee through exchange traded funds. Prices fluctuate with market and weather conditions.
Coffee Supply and Demand
We can all tell coffee demand is up by seeing a new Starbucks or local coffee boutique pop up in a place where we can't even remember the former occupant. Consumption is up in other parts of the world as well. In a coffee exporting country like Brazil, the demand is also increasing which may limit coffee available for export. Coffee prices have been in the doldrums for the last few years. Prices have been increasing in the last few months in anticipation of a lower crop in Brazil due to drought conditions. Increased global demand and lower yielding crops is a perfect combination for higher retail prices. In realty the actual cost of the raw coffee is probably the lowest component of the cost of a latte or your favorite coffee drink. Even if the price of coffee beans increase, the effect on the cup should be pennies. I don't remember the price of a cup of coffee going down when prices have been near record lows. Coffee is one of the few products that maintains or increases in demand regardless of price. So coffee enthusiasts continue to enjoy your favorite brew.