“Why is Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee so Expensive?” That is a question I have been answering for the past 6 years, however in the most recent two years, it has been a much more involved answer regarding Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee prices.
This is all due to supply and demand which are primarily focused on the Japanese Economy as Japan purchases 85% of all Certified Blue Mountain Coffee grown in Jamaica. That said, when Japan’s economy dropped in 2008 Jamaica saw a surplus of coffee as the Japanese weren’t buying. The Farmers then either keep trying to survive in a market with excess surplus or abandon their fields as they are too costly to maintain with no income. With unclean fields, the 2011-2012 crop was hit by Berry Borer Beetles and coffee production dropped by 20%.
2012-2013 Saw Hurricane Sandy hit Jamaica and yet another 22% crop loss was suffered and if that wasn’t bad enough all the excess moisture from the hurricane caused a bad Coffee Leaf Rust epidemic in the 2013-2014 crop, dropping production another 30% bringing Jamaica’s Coffee production to an all time low.
So what happens to Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee prices when supply is at an all time low, and demand has stayed the same?
Oh, and let us not forget our friends in Japan who are seeing a rebound in their economy and want their coffee. As any tenacious coffee aficionado would do, they went to the processors and offered to pay more but the processors had limited supply from the farmers. Crafty as they are, Crop 2014-2015 was met with the Japanese offering the Farmers nearly three times what a box of coffee cherries were worth in 2012-2013.
It is no big secret that the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee prices rose as a direct result of this move. The Farmers have more money, so the processors raise their fees, excise taxes raise and so on down the line until it finally reaches the consumer who is sees prices go from $40-$60 per pound.
In an effort to boost production, Jamaica’s Government has granted and encouraged Coffee Farmers to plant and grow coffee plants to bolster the country’s coffee supply. Now here is where it gets interesting… In a post from Jamaica Mocha, it would seem as the Japanese demand is trending downward, and as a result of the extra crops expected to net around 300,000 boxes of cherries, you can see where this is heading.
With excess supply it could be speculated that Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee prices may see a decline in the next crop year, but that will only happen if the industry as a whole will accept a lower prices after 2 years of getting paid top dollar. From this last year to this there is already a build up in inventory in coffee warehouses around the US simply due to the fact our market will not bear a $60 per pound price.
Being that Reggie’s Roast Coffee are both roasters and Jamaica Blue Mountain Farmers, we are focused on keeping a reasonable price for our customers. Even at the inflated prices of imported green coffee, we are still able to offer 100% Certified Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee at $47 per lb. From our experience in Jamaica Coffee farming since 1994, we have seen this cyclical up & down before and with it’s highs come it’s lows; so we can only hope to work towards a sustainable, level price so we can keep on roasting you “Absolutely The Best Coffee in The World”