I'm going to postulate an answer based on my experience in the physical sugar market.
Ultimately the reality of supply and demand does.
Diffs change based on where KC is, and the premium for different coffees, which smooths out some of the KC price moves, but the final price will still follow the swings of the market.
Speculators will also have an impact on the market, but eventually it is supply and demand.
And the market exists so that buyers and sellers can lock in a price without knowing the counterparty at the time of pricing. It really is as simple as that.
For example We used to price sugar supply up to 2 or 3 years in advance (so buy futures), then nearer the time the premium to the market would be agreed with the seller (who would also have priced selling their sugar in advance.probably at a different futures price) When the actual transaction time comes along the futures are just 'cancelled' out, the seller gets the price they locked in at, the buyer gets the price they locked in at, and only the premium is variable.
My apologies if this is obvious and wasn't the answer you were looking for.
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