Robusta Price Spikes – Market Turnaround

A drought across robusta plantations this year has raised prices for the bitter-tasting type of coffee that’s usually the cheapest. In some cases, the beans are now more expensive than arabica, the variety preferred for high-end drinks because of its smooth flavor, and roasters are changing their blends.

“This change could result in an improvement in coffee quality,” said Nathan Herszkowicz, executive director of the Brazilian Association of Coffee Industries, a processors’ group. “Arabica beans have a more complex taste, with more nuances of flavor and aroma.”

The top producer’s market has been turned upside down because dry weather from El Nino cut the robusta harvest by a quarter, while rains in arabica areas created ideal conditions and more supply than expected. The most common strain of robusta was 3.2% more expensive on average this year than a type of arabica. That compares with a discount of 12% in the previous six years. read more –

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