After olive oil, will coffee also become unaffordable in Spain?

by Lorraine Williamson

Bad news for lovers of a cortado, a café con leche or any other cup of coffee in Spain. The routine of waking up and drinking coffee first may be jeopardised by the increase in the price of the beans in recent months. According to the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), prices reached record highs last February.

The price in Spanish stores increased by 23% in February 2024 compared to the same month in 2021. This was announced by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE).

“In Spain, an average of 44 million cups of coffee are consumed every day in Spanish households. In addition, another 22 million cups are drunk daily in cafes. Each Spaniard consumes an average of 3.81 kg per year,” Montse Prieto of the Spanish Coffee Association (AECafé), explained to the Spanish newspaper 20minutos.

Spain is a major producer

Spain is the second-largest producer of instant coffee in Europe, the third-largest producer of decaffeinated roasted coffee, and the fourth-largest producer of caffeinated roasted coffee. “Of the 210,000 tonnes of roasted and instant coffee produced in Spain, 23,000 tonnes of roasted and 51,000 tonnes of instant are exported,” says Prieto.

Cogesa Expats


However, most of the coffee consumed in Spain is imported. In total, this amounts to 395,000 tonnes of green, roasted and instant coffee per year.

Most imports come from countries in Africa and Central America or Asia, such as Brazil, Vietnam and Ethiopia. Drought affects ‘wetter’ crops such as coffee. As a result, production decreases and the price of the bean rises because the available supply does not meet global demand. Both robusta beans and arabica beans have already risen sharply in price due to the drought. But the current geopolitical climate also has an influence. For example, the crisis in the Red Sea, one of the most important transport routes for coffee beans. The crisis is hampering exports and driving up prices.

New European regulation on the way

In addition, the European Parliament will apply a new regulation from 1 January 2025. This obliges producers to prove that the product does not come from deforested land. This measure could push up the price of the beans even further.

Also read: How to order coffee in Spain

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