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US roasters mull price increases amid higher shipping costs

Higher domestic and international shipping costs drive up the cost of importing and distributing coffee to the US, major roasters have indicated

Shipping containers in San Pedro, Los Angeles, USA | Photo credit: Cameron Venti

US roasters are facing higher domestic and international shipping costs in 2021. According to a Reuters report, higher consumer demand during Covid-19 has driven up the price of domestic deliveries. The pandemic has also led to erratic international shipping patterns, both of which have led to many coffee roasters facing higher costs.
Prominent US coffee roasters, including Olympia Coffee Roasting, Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers, Joe Coffee Company, and Dunkin’ owner, JM Smucker, were among sources citing supply chain complications in 2021.
“We’re currently signing contracts for delivery in the summer and fall, and those prices have gone up quite a bit, about 15% increases on everything,” said Oliver Stormshak, Co-owner and CEO, Olympia Coffee Roasting.
The report cites data from Market intelligence provider S&P Global Platts, which suggests US businesses faced $10bn in additional freight costs in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Increased freight costs and shipping backlogs have contributed to pushing global coffee prices to their highest month average since October 2017, with International Coffee Organization (ICO) data showing average coffee prices reached 120.01 US cents per pound in February 2021.

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