The chief of procurement for Dunkin’ Donuts Inc. outlets urged the top U.S. commodity regulator to limit speculation in raw materials like sugar, wheat and coffee as Arabica beans rose to a 13-year high.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows coffee prices and net-long positions held by managed money including hedge funds, commodity trading advisers and commodity pools, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report. Long positions are bets that prices will rise.
“Something as simple as a good cup of coffee at a fair price is under threat today because of intense pressure by hedge funds and other speculators,” said Ed O’Rourke, chief procurement officer for Dunkin’ Donuts National DCP LLC, a franchise-owned cooperative that handles purchasing and distribution to more than 6,000 Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins outlets nationwide, in a Dec. 14 letter to the CFTC.
The commission last week postponed a vote to propose limits on the number of commodity contracts one firm could own. Coffee rose 69 percent this year as stockpiles monitored by ICE Futures U.S. plunged 45 percent. Net-long positions held by managed money increased 79 percent this year.
Arabica coffee for March delivery reached $2.4225 a pound yesterday on ICE Futures in New York on speculation that supplies may be reduced because of adverse weather in India and Brazil. It was the highest price for a most-active contract since June 1997. The contract declined 3.65 cents, or 1.6 percent to settle at $2.302 yesterday.