Coffee prices continue to be highly volatile, changing significantly according to Brazilian weather reports, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) reported on 10 April. In its March monthly coffee report, the ICO warned that Brazil’s weather should be taken seriously in terms of its potential effect on coffee production. It cited a recent study that referred to the current drought as “the largest climate anomaly since the ‘Black Frost’ of 1975”, warning that damage to the 2015-16 crop could be even worse. The Black Frost of 1975 affected around two thirds of Brazil’s crops the following crop year. Along with supply fears come reports of an increase in consumption. The ICO reported that 2013 consumption figures will likely be around 145.8 million 60-kilogram bags, a 2.7 per cent increase from 2012. “It seems likely that the market is heading towards a supply deficit,” the ICO stated, noting that the Brazilian crop will be the most important variable in confirming the deficit. Total exports in February have risen 4.3 per cent over 2013 to 9 million bags, however the total for the first five months of 2013-14 exporting year is at 42.7 million bags, a drop of 6.6 per cent over the same time a year prior. That level of increase means that the last four years have seen a 2.1 per cent average annual increase. While traditional markets, particularly the United States, are accredited for some of that growth, consumption in exporting countries is also helping to increase those figures, now accounting for just under a third of world consumption. Although the ICO says its figures on consumption in emerging markets seem to have fallen, it notes this it’s likely because most emerging markets are not ICO members, so accurate data on 2013 might not be available.