Global coffee prices reach seven-year high as extreme weather in Brazil impacts supply

A tip for coffee lovers - increase your weekly budget now if you want to continue getting that caffeine fix.  

The global price for coffee beans has reached a seven-year high this week - but extreme weather in Brazil means the biggest impact on supply is yet to come. 

If you drink coffee, chances are you've tried beans from Brazil. The country produces 40 percent of the world's supply and is one of the largest exporters to New Zealand. 

But right now, their crops are almost completely ruined - first by drought and then by a severe frost - bringing losses not seen since the 1970s

"We've lost an entire lifetime's work," a local farmer says. 

Local importers say the global bean price just hit a record seven-year high - then kept climbing. 

"In the last week, the coffee market has gone up 10 percent and then another 20 percent," says Alice Burton of coffee importer, John Burton Ltd.

But the real impact of the frost in Brazil is yet to come. 

"Fortunately, most of the coffee has been harvested from this crop or has at least formed on the tree, the cherry, which then creates the bean," says Burton.

"So at the moment, we see it's going to affect the 2022/2023 harvest - which is this time next year."

For the bean counters, it's not just Brazil's weather that's been a factor.

Their crop was already down on previous years, the value of the US dollar has dropped, and in the wake of COVID-19, there have been shipping and transport issues - it all adds up. It costs everyone in the chain before it ends up in your cup. But do people care if their coffee costs more?

"I'd still just drink coffee [as usual]," one Aucklander told Newshub.

"I keep drinking coffee - definitely. No hesitation at all," said another.

Judging from those Newshub spoke to, not really. So demand is still there, but could supply run out? 

"While the situation does seem daunting, I stress: do not panic," says Burton.

So you'll still be able to get your coffee - it's just likely to come at a cost.