Brazil and Vietnam becoming the ‘OPEC of Coffee’?
That’s precisely what Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) suggested this week in light of decisions from two of the coffee industry’s behemoths to buy-up large portions of their would-be exports. The charge of stockpiling coincided with a request that U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk send a warning message this month during the International Coffee Organization meeting.
Stockpiling crops would add stress to an already burdened market currently experiencing prices at a 12-year high. The prices spiked in June due to poor crop yields in major coffee-producing regions. U.S. heavyweight J.M. Smucker Co. already raised prices of its Folgers and Dunkin’ Donuts brands. Others, including Tim Horton’s and Starbucks, have said they will absorb the cost increase.
“If it was just weather, there’s not much you can do, but it’s beyond weather. It’s people trying to manipulate the market. We want to stop that.”