Coffee prices surge to 6-year high as extreme cold threatens Brazil’s crops

coffee beans

Extreme frost in Brazil’s coffee-growing region is set to harm next year’s crop, sending prices of coffee to a six-year high.

Futures for arabica beans jumped to $2.08 a pound Tuesday, the highest level in New York since 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Exacerbating the price surge is the fact that the frost is the second major weather shock to hit farms in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer. This spring, the region’s rainy season hardly saw any rain during one of its worst droughts in almost a century. The drought hurt the 2021 crop and dropped the coffee supply output in Brazil as plants withered.

Now, traders are spooked that the frost will harm the 2022 coffee harvest, and have pushed coffee futures up 30% in July.

José Marcos Magalhães, president of the Minasul coffee cooperative and also a grower, told the Journal that he expects to lose two-thirds of the 2022 harvest on his farm.

“I normally produce 12,000 bags, and now I think I’ll lose about 8,000,” José Marcos Magalhães said.

The frost is the latest weather shock to spoke commodity traders into bidding up prices. Last week, lumber futures spiked as concerns grew that wildfires in Canada and the Western US will harm supply chain routes.

Read more: Top 16 meme stocks this week on Reddit: Tesla tops the charts after record earnings while Chinese stocks get smacked amid brutal regulatory crackdown

Read the original article on Business Insider

Lumber prices are on pace to plunge 45% in June after a record-breaking rally driven by homebuilding demand

A lumber yard

The price of lumber futures is on pace to plunge 45% in June for one of the largest monthly drops ever, as the hot commodity comes off a record-breaking rally.

Lumber prices have been on a rapid decline since their May 7 peak of $1,670 per thousand board feet.

As of June 30, the price of lumber has slipped around 45% to $721 per thousand board feet- and is now on track to have its worst month since 1978. Exactly a year ago, lumber futures closed at $435.

“I would not be surprised at all if we see the price continue to trail lower than $600 or below toward the year-end,” Mace McCain, president and managing director at Frost Investment Advisors, told Insider. “We will continue to see supply come on board but we will not see demand continue to grow.”

McCain added that this level will be more sustainable for the wood industry and will make housing more affordable.

While it is difficult to point to one specific reason why the price of lumber futures has pulled back, some experts attribute it to the economic reopening, which has caused more people to spend less time at home.

To begin with, the price skyrocketed at the start of the pandemic when restrictions forced Americans to shelter at home, prompting many to either build new houses or renovate existing ones.

Read more: ‘If lumber crashes, stocks might be next’: An award-winning portfolio manager who’s tracked lumber prices for years breaks down why futures hitting a record high of $1,600 is an ominous sign – and shares what investors can do ahead of the eventual crash

Chip Setzer, director of trading and growth for Mickey Group, a commodity trading platform, agreed that this range is what he would consider a fair valuation as well.

He has told Insider in the past that the sweet spot would be $600-$900 as this range gives sawmill operators, truck drivers, and other players in the industry more cushion for capital upgrades and operational improvements.

Setzer did express concern that while the prices are much more reasonable now due in part to a more functional supply chain, the industry simply cannot afford another disruption.

“I have strong concerns that we will have interruptions, which will have adverse effects on supply,” he told Insider.

Setzer mentioned the recent wildfires in British Columbia, where the US gets part of its lumber supply, as well as the upcoming hurricanes in Texas and Virginia.

“If the forest is on fire we can’t get logs,” he said. “That will change the tables.”

Apart from supply chain issues, Brad McMillan, CIO at Commonwealth Financial Network, said the wild price fluctuations could also be due to market distortions, where a “real lumber shortage” turned into “something much worse.”

He said this, then, resulted in higher prices, which caused more panic buying, until some sort of limit was “reached.” At this point, which seems to be now, the price will head down, he said.

Earlier in 2021, lumber prices surged, triggered by a confluence of factors – a pandemic, concerns of an overheating housing market, and millennials reaching home-buying age. On top of this, there was already a shortage of lumber supply before the pandemic even began.

Read the original article on Business Insider