I'm amazed at how superior your vanilla is!
- Des, The Grommet
I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

January 2011 Report on Luxury Crops

Some changes have occurred in the world market over the last year which may be helpful for farmers growing certain luxury crops.  Unfortunately, it’s often at the expense of other farmers.  The January floods in North- and Southeast Australia, Sri Lanka and Brazil have caused tremendous suffering for thousands of people.  We are definitely seeing the effects of global climate change and the tropics are experiencing extreme weather events.

Here are the current updates on pricing and availability for coffee, tea, cacao, vanilla and sugar.  The prices can change very quickly as you know, so this is simply a guideline for what to anticipate.Coffee

Arabica coffee has climbed to a 13 year high on speculation that crop disease — especially coffee-leaf-rust — could bring prices up to $3.00 a pound by the end of 2011March prices on futures are at $2,167 a metric tonne on the New York Stock Exchange as of this writing.

The production of Robusta coffee will be low this year due to heavy rains in Vietnam and Indonesia.  There are currently no specific prices posted for Robusta coffee.  A lot will be contingent on volume from Vietnam and India.

Tea

Tea prices will rise some as most commodity prices are going up currently, but projections are for a .70 percent  increase as opposed to a 3.3 percent increase during the last few years. Assam tea dealers are dealing with climate-related issues for tea quality.  For further information, click here.

Sugar

Raw sugar futures for March delivery are going for approximately $2,959 a tonne in New York.  In London prices are currently at about 1980 pounds per tonne or $3109 American.  Prices of sugar are currently high due to weather issues in Brazil and India.

Cacao/Chocolate

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) listed prices for beans at $3,402.72 a tonne American and  2189 pounds a tonne, English. New York Futures area currently $3334 a tonne. Prices will be volatile if the current embargo on cocoa from West Africa is not lifted soon.  The largest cocoa ship ever arrived in Camden New Jersey a few days ago with 18,600 metric tonnes of beans even as the embargo has been in place for nearly a month.  While this supply should last for a while, a lot depends on the current political situation in the Ivory Coast.

Vanilla

Vanilla bean prices are not likely to change until at least mid-2011.  Prices currently range from $15 to $250 a kilo based on country-of-origin and quality/grade.  Lowest prices are in Papua New Guinea and Uganda with Bourbon Vanilla planifolia selling for $15 – $20 a kilo. Madagascar’s prices range from $30 – $40 a kiloMexico had a very short crop due to weather issues.  In late 2010 Vanilla planifolia was selling for about $50 – 60 a kilo for premium grade.  Highest prices are in Tahiti where Vanilla tahitensis is selling for as much as $250 a kilo. The majority of the Tahiti crop is traded in Euros to the European Union.

 

 

 

Patricia Rain
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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.

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