PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Holy coffee bean! The wholesale price of coffee has skyrocketed faster than oil prices.
“The price of coffee has more than doubled in the past year,” says Jordan Nicholas of Nicholas Coffee in Market Square.
“Doubled?” asked KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano.
“Absolutely doubled, and it’s actually going up and there’s no sign of it coming down any time soon.”
A year ago, a pound of raw coffee beans cost wholesalers about a $1.40 a pound in the commodities market. Now it’s over $2.65 and nearly hit three bucks briefly.
“The second most traded product in the world after oil is coffee,” notes Sam Patti of La Prima Espresso, “so they’re subjected to weather and political strife and people’s investments and coffee is part of that.”
Patti, who owns La Prima Espresso, a coffee wholesaler in the Terminal Building, says speculators just like they do in oil are driving up the price.
Another key factor is more coffee lovers.
“Emerging coffee drinking classes, certainly in China, in India, as there is this emerging middle class. As they become more capitalistic, they want to drink coffee,” adds Patti.
In America, you can hardly go a block without seeing a coffee shop like Prestogeorge Coffee & Tea in the Strip District.
“We’re trying to keep coffee prices as low as we possibly can,” says Stan Prestogeorge.
So far, some of the price increase has been absorbed by wholesalers and retailers, but that is likely to change.
“We’ve only passed on only about 75 percent so far of the increase,” says Prestogeorge.
Which means prices are only headed in one direction.
“It’s going to continue to rise which is kind of scary.”
“No relief in sight?” asked Jon Delano.
You hate to think the day will ever come when drinking your favorite coffee, while texting your friends or reading your favorite newspaper becomes way too expensive.
But nobody can predict where coffee prices are going, so enjoy it while you can.