The coffee market is in the hands of industrial concerns who set prices and control and regulate trade with the producing countries in the southern hemisphere.

 

Since 1880, the coffee price has been listed at two main financial centres. London for robustas and New York for arabicas.

 

By following the development of prices, we see that the listed price of coffee is affected by sudden and spectacular fluctuations and can triple in value in only a few days. The freeze suffered by Brazil in 1994 and the effect of El Niño in 1997, for example, made prices soar to more than 200 dollar cents per pound for arabica.

 

The system established by fair trade offers an alternative to this dangerous situation, which still threatens small producers with having one day to sell at a price lower than the cost of production and, therefore, being forced to get into debt.

 

The following table shows the closing prices of the term and the variations in relation to the previous day's trading over the various months.

 

Arabica Price (New York))
Month 03/08/2012 03/07/2012 Evolution High Low
03/12 189,35 188,40 +0,95 191,70 186,70
05/12 189,40 188,60 +0,80 192,00 185,10
07/12 192,10 191,25 +0,85 194,55 187,85
09/12 194,90 193,90 +1,00 197,20 190,60
12/12 198,45 197,50 +0,95 200,85 194,35
03/13 201,75 200,80 +0,95 204,00 197,80
 
Robusta Price (Londres)
Month 03/08/2012 03/07/2012 Evolution High Low
03/12 2 088,00 2 028,00 +60,00 2 090,00 2 036,00
05/12 2 088,00 2 031,00 +57,00 2 090,00 2 008,00
07/12 2 040,00 1 995,00 +45,00 2 042,00 1 975,00
09/12 2 041,00 1 998,00 +43,00 2 044,00 1 999,00
11/12 2 044,00 2 004,00 +40,00 2 047,00 2 007,00
01/13 2 044,00 2 007,00 +37,00 2 044,00 2 018,00