Coffee fades. Coffee prices have resisted the recent sell off in commodities not because of rising demand, but because of attempts by one or two speculators to squeeze the market, which has buoyed prices in futures markets. That situation will ease and, when it does, prices will ease. Despite prices being higher than they should really be, it's a bit of a truism that coffee and cafes are a boom industry (thanks to hispters and late-converting Millennials) in major cities such as New York, London, Paris, Moscow, Chicago, and those in China and Japan. It's now cool to be part of the coffee-cafe mobile device wi-fi culture (Australians don’t have to be told that; after all, some of us reckon we helped start the trend).
Big companies have moved to join the trend. Nestle with Nespresso (and its imitators), plus sales of larger and more expensive traditional espresso machines for home use, as well as a dazzling number of new coffee brands and types. One of the most high-profile corporate arrivals was Coca-Cola, which has built a 16% stake in the uber-cool Keurig Green Mountain company in the US, makers of coffee machines and pods (like Nespresso). Early this morning, that blew up as the company produced weak results, which resulted in shares plunging more than 29%, after hours. That wiped US$3 billion from the value of the company (Coca-Cola showing its usual kiss-of-death timing).