Today, I am going to be analyzing the relationship between Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX) and its main raw commodity, coffee beans.
Let me start off by saying that I really like Starbucks and the coffee it sells. In fact, my favorite drink at Starbucks is a Venti Coffee Frappuccino with one third the ice, blended five times.
Starbucks faces a major challenge, one it cannot control - the price of its major commodity, coffee.
With one of the worst droughts in history hitting Brazil's coffee belt region, it is rapidly pushing prices higher. This is no ordinary drought as it is forcing more than 140 cities in Brazil to ration water. Reports in Brazilian newspapers indicate that some neighborhoods are receiving water only every three days. This is serious, as Brazil produces most of the world's coffee.
With Coffee (NYBOT:KC.H14.E) prices at 14-month highs, there is little to suggest that this trend is going to change any time soon. It would appear as though early predictions are indicating that coffee supplies could be 5 million bags lower than consumption for the 2014–2015 season. [Read more...]