Coffee prices up because of Brazil weather

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Coffee prices are going up because of renewed concerns about the outlook for Brazil's crop.

The price of coffee beans has risen about 85 percent this year on concerns that dry weather in Brazil will damage the harvest there. Brazil is the world's largest coffee producer, accounting for about a third of global production.

"It's part of the economic cycle, it's part of the geological cycle," said Jennifer O'Donnell, of Chamblin's Coffee Cafe in downtown Jacksonville.

O'Donnell said the café gets some of its beans from Brazil but not all, and it will wait and see what happens before it thinks about upcharging customers.

"Passing on price increases because we are afraid of prices going up is not going to be something that will help us develop and keep a regular customer base," O'Donnell said.

Coffee for July delivery jumped 15.25 cents, or 8.1 percent, to $2.04 per pound.

It's predicted that 35 percent of the coffee crop would be lost in the South Minas region of Brazil due to unfavorable weather.

Big price swings for coffee may become the norm in coming months. It's unclear if this will be a summertime problem or how long the coffee bean crop in Brazil will be affected.

"Our prices will stay the same unless this is going to be a long-term problem or long-term issue," O'Donnell said.

Coffee prices right now vary. You can get a small cup for around $2, or if you go to the grocery store, you can buy a bag of coffee beans for $6 to $10. Brand and type of bean affects pricing.

Although Brazil beans may be affected, other beans should remain steady, which may make those blends like French blend more popular this summer.

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