The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Coffee prices hit a 13-year high Wednesday, extending a rally that has sent prices up about 43 percent in the past three months.

Coffee for December delivery settled up 2.25 cents at $1.9455 a pound Wednesday after hitting $1.9865 per pound earlier in the day. Trading volume was light, which can exaggerate price movements.

The impact of the months-long climb is leading to higher retail coffee prices on several major brands, including Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts and Millstone.

This week's rally appears to be largely due to speculative trading because fears have eased about weather and supply issues, said Spencer Patton, founder and chief investment officer for hedge fund Steel Vine Investments LLC.

"It's really starting to create waves in the market," he said.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. plans to raise North American prices 10 percent to 15 percent next month on K-Cup portion packs for the Keurig Single-Cup brewing system.

Last month, the J.M. Smucker Co. imposed an immediate average increase of 9 percent on most of its coffee products under the brand names of Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts, Millstone and Folgers Gourmet Selections.

Starbucks Corp. spokeswoman Deb Trevino said Wednesday that the company still is planning to absorb the costs, but executives continue to monitor the situation closely.

Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, says he wants U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to warn some major coffee growers in Brazil and Vietnam not to stockpile their crops. He said that could boost coffee futures contracts even more.

Other commodities settled on a mixed note.

In December metals contracts, gold slipped $1.80 to settle at $1,257.50; silver added 9.5 cents to $20.009 an ounce and copper rose 3 cents to $3.5005 a pound.

September palladium gained $3.90 to settle at $525.50 an ounce and October platinum rose $5.90 to $1,562.20 an ounce.

In energy trading, oil prices rose, mirroring an increase in the equities markets, as worries about European debt problems eased in wake of a successful auction of Portuguese government debt.

In October contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange, benchmark crude added 58 cents to settle at $74.67 a barrel; heating oil gained 0.74 cent to $2.0817 a gallon, gasoline rose 0.65 cents to $1.9394 a gallon and natural gas lost 3.8 cents to settle at $3.814 per 1,000 cubic feet.

December wheat sank 24.25 cents to $7.11 a bushel after a Canadian government agency said its harvest would bring in more wheat than expected.

December corn fell 3.75 cents to $4.6250 a bushel and November soybeans slipped 3.25 cents to $10.4875 a bushel.


Associated Press Writer Tom Murphy contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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