Dr. Stuart McCook

University of Guelph history professor Dr. Stuart McCook, shared his expertise on current coffee market conditions in a CBC News Online article. This story also appeared in Yahoo! News.

Drought in Brazil and the economic impacts of COVID-19 are driving up the costs of the popular bean, said McCook. Brazil produces about one-third of the world’s coffee beans and severe drought there is reducing the harvest, he added.

Also, like other tree crops, coffee operates on a two-year cycle, with an abundant crop one year followed by a reduced crop the next. He said 2020 was a bumper crop for coffee.

“They follow this pattern of what’s known in the industry as biennial bearing,” he told CBC.

The going rate for prized arabica beans almost reached $1.70 US a pound last week, nearly 60 per cent higher than it was last summer. COVID-19 has increased the cost of just about everything associated with coffee, including supplies like filters and machines, and transportation costs, according to the article.