Vital Nature: Potential scorching coffee prices

Coffee beans are largely harvested and distributed commodity crop exchanges. The two most commonly grown and commutated coffee beans around the world are the Arabica and Robusta species. Arabica beans are currently marketed at a cost 30% less than that of Robusta beans, deeming them notably more cost-effective and therefore widespread.

Also notable is the steady increase in caffeine-product purchases and correlated caffeine reliance. Where reliance is prevalent, demand increases. Every sturdy market is one of supply and demand, so it is conventional that when demand is higher than supply, prices rise and when supply is higher than demand, prices drop. This rhythmic fluctuation of product appraisal may veer towards misfortunate if demand continues to increase, and supply lessens. The culprit to the weakened supply of coffee beans is biological circumstance. Our climate is changing, but the species-specific environmental necessities for growth are not.

Arabica coffee beans flourish at a higher altitude (600-2200 meters) than Robusta (0-800 meters), and Arabica beans require a lower atmospheric temperature (59-75 degrees Fahrenheit) than Robusta (76-96 degrees Fahrenheit). Robusta beans also have a greater thirst to quench, and are doused with 2200-3000 millimeters of annual rainfall versus Arabica’s 1200-2200 millimeters. The elemental requisites of Arabica are much more economical than those of Robusta, but may soon be outweighed by Robusta’s convenience when poor weather conditions in main export countries of Arabica take hold. If coffee beans, as with any other crop, are sparse due to barren weather, the price of that coffee will rise. In the case that one of the largest coffee-producing countries on earth has nearly calamitous weather for a year, the world market will be entirely aware.

The top five coffee-exporting countries in the world are Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, Indonesia and Ethiopia. Now, that coffee is shipped off to countries of opposite polarity. The top five coffee consumers per capita are Finland, Aruba, Iceland, Norway and Denmark, with the United States, Germany and Italy importing the most coffee worldwide.

Uncertainty marks our future coffee predicament. It has been seen in the past that consumers suddenly prefer Robusta beans over Arabica, then Arabica rather than Robusta, and back and forth again. So, while we note global climate change as a factor regarding the success of one species, the fate of the coffee market may rely on the change of heart of customers. Consumer desideratum is as influential on coffee bean prices as natural forces are, so the outcome is wholly subjective.