(Starbucks and coffee prices report updated with clarification about John Culver's remarks.)
SEATTLE (TheStreet) -- Starbucks (SBUX) has already contracted its coffee purchases for the remainder of fiscal 2011, locking in its costs, as the commodity trades near decades-long highs.
Coffee futures hit a three-decade high of $3.0615 per pound on May 3 but have come down somewhat from that price in recent trading sessions. The commodity most recently settled at $2.7495 per pound on Friday.
In December CEO Howard Schultz called the 50% spike in coffee futures "tragic," blaming financial speculators for the run-up in prices.John Culver, president of Starbucks Coffee International, said "we think that these prices are not based on facts given there is no supply problem," according to reports in Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger published Friday. "Speculators are at work here." "We do believe, however, that prices are going to fall again. For this year, we have suspended our coffee buys for the moment but we watch the market closely," he said According to a Starbucks spokesman, Culver's remarks were mistranslated somewhat. Culver's point, according to the spokesman, was that Starbucks had already locked in its coffee costs for 2011, and had already contracted to buy the main ingredient needed for its coffee operations, not that it had actually suspended purchases.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV