Coffee has longest fall since '72, oversupply woe

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Associated Press

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 9:00 PM

Coffee futures are in their longest slump since 1972 as Brazil appears headed for a record crop next year.

Production of coffee beans has also been huge in Colombia and Vietnam, adding to a global glut that has pushed the price for raw beans down 26 percent this year.

The price of raw coffee beans for December delivery fell 0.6 cent to $1.0695 a pound Tuesday. That's the 11th straight decline, the longest losing streak in 41 years, according to Sterling Smith, a commodities specialist with Citigroup.

"We simply have too much," Smith said.

In Brazil, Smith said, "we're right now in the pollination stage for next year's crop, and the weather has been absolutely phenomenal."

Smith cautioned coffee drinkers not to expect a huge break in the prices they pay, since much of the price of coffee isn't the cost of the raw beans themselves but rather the energy required to roast, grind, can and transport them. Smith did say that if raw bean prices stay this low there could be "some price decreases" at the retail level.

In other trading of agricultural futures, December corn fell 1.25 cents to $4.32 a bushel, January soybeans rose 2.75 cents to $12.7075 a bushel and December wheat rose a quarter of a cent to $6.8125 a bushel.

The price of crude oil fell 48 cents to $98.20 a barrel in New York.

Wholesale gasoline lost 2 cents to $2.61 a gallon, heating oil was flat at $2.96 a gallon and natural gas fell 7 cents to $3.50 per 1,000 cubic feet.

December gold fell $6.70 to $1,345.50 an ounce. December silver fell 4.6 cents to $22.492 an ounce.

High-grade copper edged up 0.9 cent to $3.2780 a pound. January platinum fell $11 to $1,461.90 an ounce. December palladium edged down $3.40 to $747.05 an ounce.

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