Currency fluctuations, bad weather and crop diseases risk creating a continuing and inevitable rise in coffee bean prices, procurement group Prestige Purchasing has warned.

With coffee bean inventories at a five-year low, and the world demanding more coffee than it supplies, Prestige said buyers, operators and consumers would eventually face a price hike.

Christopher Clare MCIPS, head of consulting & insight at Prestige, said the shock of Brexit and loss of value of the pound against the dollar was already starting to hit UK importers.

The Brazilian Real has also gained value against the US Dollar resulting in a further rise in cost, while El Niño and diseases have damaged crops this year.

“There is a basic ongoing and increasing issue - the world demands more coffee than it produces”, Clare said.

“There are expectations that in six years the coffee market will see its first supply deficit, where there is simply not enough coffee to go around.”

The latest prices for Brazilian coffee beans show an increase of over 20% within the last three months and 28% when compared to the beginning of the year, although are still a way off from historical highs.

Clare added: “Coffee roasters generally buy large quantities of beans which can last them for around 6-12 months so the increases are not felt imminently, however are passed on to buyers over time and price increases will eventually reach the consumer.”

But according to the British Coffee Association, the changes were not out of the ordinary, and coffee industry was capable of adapting to the changes.

Chris Stemman, executive director of the BCA, said: “The changes and fluctuations to trading prices are not out of the ordinary compared with historical data for coffee pricing.

“In the short to mid-term at least, we do not anticipate changes to the prices that consumers pay for the coffee they love drinking.

“The coffee industry in the UK and around the world is working hard to ensure that the industry continues to adjust and mitigate for ongoing changes that it is experiencing and make sure we continue to adapt to them.”

Peter Dore-Smith, founder and director of Kaffeine coffee shop, said he had noticed no difference in price so far.

“We havent been affected by price changes and I have no indicaition as yet that anything will happen in the future.

“There was talk when Brexit happened of putting prices up, but that hasn’t happened yet.”

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