Photo: Coffee / jen / Flickr / April 25, 2014 / CC BY-2.0

Global coffee prices are falling. Since rising to $1.35 per pound in December, prices have tumbled sinking as low as $0.96 per pound in early-February. Today, coffee is trading at just under $1.10 per pound, according to Trading Economics.

This trend is not new. Coffee prices often fluctuate. However, since reaching a high of $2.99 per pound in 2011, prices have generally been in decline.

In El Salvador, where coffee has historically been a critical export, the global decline of the price of coffee means farmers are producing and investing less and less in their coffee trees.

According to La Prensa Grafica, coffee production in the fourth quarter of 2019 was down 46% compared to the same period in 2018. The trend continued in 2020 with the January crop 32% lower than last year.

Coffee (HS 0901) exports from El Salvador to the world from 1994 to 2019 / Data from UNCOMTRADE / Graph by author

In 2019, $112 million worth of coffee (HS code 0901) was exported globally compromising 1.9% of all exports.