Coffee is a beverage enjoyed the world over and is therefore an import commodity for global trade, with the largest consumers being the US, Italy and Germany, although on a per capita basis countries like Finland, Aruba and Iceland lead the pack.
Traded on major futures and commodity indexes, ROB Coffee prices are predominantly set by a supply versus demand dynamic, with the major producers being Vietnam, Brazil and Colombia.
In some cases, coffee revenues can make up to 80 per cent of foreign exchange earnings for developing nations, most notably those in South America.
Coffee is cultivated in more than 70 countries around the world, with the seeds or 'beans' of the coffee fruit needing to be roasted and ground before they can be made into the popular beverage.
In 2009, Brazil was the world's largest producer of coffee, delivering more than 2.2 million tonnes to world markets, this was followed by Vietnam (961,000 tonnes) and Colombia (697,000 tonnes).
Beans from different countries or regions can usually be distinguished by their different aromas, flavour, body and acidity once processed, with two main types of bean being produced around the world - Arabica and Robusta.
Arabica beans are typically grown in Latin America, eastern Africa, Arabia or Asia, while Robusta beans are more commonly found in central Africa, throughout south-east Asia and to some extent in Brazil. Robusta is typically sold for 70 per cent of the price of Arabica.
Thought to have first been discovered in the north-east region of Ethiopia, the beverage soon gained popularity with drinkers around the world due to its high caffeine content and perceived restorative powers.
Coffee futures are traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange under ticker symbol KC in dollars per pound; futures are delivered every year in March, May, July, September and December.