Coffee prices in South Korea surged 4.5 percent in the second quarter from three months earlier, due mainly to soaring costs of importing coffee beans, data showed Sunday.
The increase is more than six times larger than a 0.7 percent on-quarter gain in consumer prices in the April-June period, according to the data compiled by the central Bank of Korea and state-run Statistics Korea.
It also marks the biggest jump in nearly two years since a 4.7 percent increase in the third quarter of 2009.
The tallied coffee prices include canned varieties and instant mixes produced by food manufacturers. It does not include fresh brews sold by franchises such as Starbucks Corp.
The report largely attributed the rise in prices to the soaring cost of coffee beans. The cost of importing coffee beans skyrocketed 19.2 percent on-quarter in the January-March period, while overall import prices climbed 7.1 percent in the cited period.
In the second quarter, coffee bean prices rose 4.7 percent, while import prices gained 2.3 percent.
Market experts said the upward trend is expected to continue, raising concerns that coffee prices for consumers are likely to continue to soar.
South Korea saw its coffee imports grow sharply over the last few years, due to growing demand for diverse brands and high-end products among local java lovers.
In 2010, the country imported a record 117,00 tons of coffee, which translates into 312 cups of joe consumed by the average adult.