By Marcy Nicholson
NEW ORLEANS, March 17 (Reuters) - Kraft Foods Inc
said Thursday it raised its U.S. list prices for Maxwell House
and Yuban ground coffees by a whopping 22 percent and its
instant coffee by around 10 percent.
The price hikes, which were effective on Wednesday, marked
the company's fourth coffee price hike in a year and came after
arabica coffee futures soared to a 34-year high this month.
"(The) increases are due to sustained increases in green
coffee," Kraft spokeswoman Bridget MacConnell told Reuters on
the sidelines of the annual National Coffee Association meeting
in New Orleans.
The company raised the price for Maxwell House and Yuban
ground coffees by 70 cents per pound equivalent, and for
instant coffees by 6.25 cents per ounce.
Excluded from the increase were single-serve Tassimo items
and the Maxwell House International line of specialty soluble
beverages, MacConnell said.
Arabica coffee futures more than doubled in price by early
March in a rally that began in June 2010 on fund buying and
tight supplies, with the benchmark May contract
a 34-year high for the second position at $2.9665 per lb.
Roasters have been forced to raise their list prices over
the past nine months as a result of the sustained rally.
Kraft most recently raised its prices in December. J.M.
changes, most recently increased its coffee prices last month,
by 10 percent.
joined in the rally, soaring to a three-year high at $2,661 per
tonne on Thursday.
(Editing by Walter Bagley)