Coffee prices dropped for the fifth consecutive month in March, falling to the lowest price since January 2014, according to the latest International Coffee Organization (ICO) report. The ICO’s composite indicator price, which comprises all four Arabicas and Robusta, reached US$1.21 per pound last month, down 10 per cent from February. Price volatility was also notably higher in March compared to last month, with a daily high of US$1.31 per pound and a low of US$1.20 per pound, according to the ICO. The ICO said it attributes the March price decline to speculation over the size of the 2015/16 Brazil crop. Brazil’s exports dropped for the first time in fifteen months in February, as they come to the end of their crop year. Global exports totalled 8.6 million bags this February, down 10.2 per cent on February 2014. This brings world exports to 43.4 million bags since the coffee year began in October. This is a drop of 1.2 million bags on the same time last year, according to the ICO. Global production is estimated at around 141.9 million 60-kilogram bags in crop year 2014/15. The ICO’s initial calculation of global consumption in calendar year 2014 has been recorded at 149.3 million bags. Based on the initial 2014 estimate, global consumption has grown at an average annual rate of 2.3 per cent over the past four years. The strongest growth over this time has been a 4.6 per cent average increase in emerging markets, with particularly strong demand in Russia, South Korea, Algeria and Turkey. “Exporting countries have also been recording an increased demand, at an average of 2.6 per cent since 2011,” said the ICO. “Brazil is by far the largest coffee consumer among the exporting countries, on 20.8 million bags for 2014, followed by Indonesia at 4.2 million, Ethiopia at 3.7 million bags and Mexico at 2.4 million bags.” Traditional consuming markets, such as the European Union, United States and Japan, account for more than 50 per cent of the world consumption total, but have been growing at a more modest rate of 1.5 per cent in that period, according to the report. It said Africa and Asia have been recording the most dynamic consumption growth, of 5 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively, although they account for only 7 per cent and 19 per cent of the world total. The ICO said it believed the move towards specialty coffee consumption and single-serve machines was increasing the value of demand more than the volume, although the US and Canada are still exhibiting considerable market growth.