It is normal that things slow down as we approach Christmas and the end of the year, but it really is dead on the Ethiopia business side! Minimum registration prices put grade 5’s into plus differentials which holt any chance of buying whereas industry seems to be focused on everything but buying! Time to take stock, reflect on the past 12 months and what the next year will bring. 2022 was difficult for Washed coffees and 2023 is looking even harder, with reduced availability and high prices. Naturals were much easier to trade in 2022, good availability and good quality, aided by a buoyant market that peaked in February as many shippers were hoping to get short; it all worked out very nicely, for both shippers and their customers. What will 2023 bring? we expect Naturals availability to be good, however with farmer price expectations not being met we could see some resistance at farmgate level to part with produce. Upcountry stock build up is a very real possibility over the next 12 months.
Inflation soared in the first 6 months and stabilised around 35% in the second half of the year. The birr has remained very steady vs the USD losing around 6% over the 12 month period.
The 2 year conflict between Government forces and Tigray rebels has ceased and a long lasting peace deal in looking increasingly likely; this is the single most positive thing that 2022 brought Ethiopia and allows us to look at 2023 with hope that the misery of the past 2 years will give way to prosperity for all Ethiopians.
Birr 53.27 = USD 1