Market-Based Price-Risk Management for Coffee Producers
Coffee is characterised by high levels of price fluctuation, which exposes coffee producers to price risk. Coffee is widely traded in international commodity futures markets. This offers scope for producers to mange their price risk by hedging on these markets. The hedging mechanism proposed is based on the use of put options. The paper uses historical data of actual coffee put options contracts to estimate the costs of the mechanism; the benefits are inferred from field evidence. It emerges that the costs are relatively low, the benefits outweighing the costs for most producers. The paper then looks at the operational feasibility of the mechanism for producers and compares it with other hedging mechanisms. The mechanisms differ in their strengths and weaknesses; their choice largely depending on their viability in individual coffee producing countries.
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