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Smucker cuts Folgers coffee prices after 2014 increase

NEW YORK, July 1 (Reuters) - J.M. Smucker Co cut prices for most of the Folgers and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee brands sold in the United States by 6 percent, the biggest U.S. roaster said on Wednesday, after a price hike last year led to a loss of market share.

Smucker raised list prices for most of its U.S. packaged coffee in June 2014 on rallying bean prices. The company later called it a “misstep” after sales volumes dropped sharply as customers delayed purchases and shifted to cheaper private-label brands.

Smucker is also reducing canister sizes for 15 of its large Folgers roast and ground cans by roughly 3 ounces.

It is a fraction of the 25 percent fall in arabica futures prices, typically roasted for brewed coffee, over the past year, and 12 percent drop in robusta, traditionally made into instant coffee but also used as a lower-cost component in roasted blends.

In June, Smucker raised list prices on most of its U.S. packaged coffee by roughly 9 percent for the first time in three years because a drought in top grower Brazil caused green coffee costs to soar. Kraft Foods Group Inc followed with a 10 percent price hike for Maxwell House and Yuban roast and ground brands.

Coffee prices have been more volatile than usual since a 2014 drought in Brazil, the world’s biggest producer, caused prices to surge on supply concerns. Prices have since fallen. (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; Editing by Grant McCool)

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