Following a complicated few days, last week businesses and life, in general, returned to somewhere close to normality in Ethiopia this week, however, internet access is still very restricted; only a few organizations have been switched on; so imagine how much your daily work life would be disrupted if you did not have email or could not go online!

Everyone is at work but they cannot function properly without the internet, some activities have been completely shut down like courier companies that stopped dispatching documents and samples until yesterday when they figured out a way to work without having internet access. On the other hand ECX, transport and milling have continued this week more or less unaffected. It seems that companies can request to the government to have their internet access switching back on; some exporters and shipping lines have managed this successfully; there does not seem to be a date when the authorities will allow everyone to go back online so many companies have started applying for this permission, including ourselves. Having a very restricted information flow means that we do know what the forex is doing, what export prices are being registered at NBE, or what volumes are trading at ECX. It also means that pre-shipment sample dispatch has been delayed by nearly 2 weeks and documents have been stuck for the same period of time. Inevitably this will bring some disruption to our already complicated “modus operandi”!

Trading has been very subdued, on the origin side, poor quality and minimum prices are restricting buying opportunities, whereas buyers remain unsure of future demand and cyclical summer doldrums have set in.

by Charles Seara Cardoso

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