With many exporters at AFCA this week it gives us an opportunity to catch up and discuss the current situation in Ethiopia; the picture is not very pretty for both Washed coffees and Naturals for different reasons; Volumes for Washed at ECX continue to disappoint and increasingly the reason being given is that a chunky proportion of Sidamo/Guji and Yrgacheffe coffee is already committed to exporters through Vertical Integration arrangements.
We also believe that the crop in the South is both late and down vs 2018 crop. For Naturals the Lekempti insecurity situation is ongoing and this continues to limit the volumes offered at ECX; there are also concerns that the Lekempti crop is not being dried properly since farmers are not being able to go about their business due to fear caused by rebel fighters in the region; potentially this could lead to more mouldy beans, phenolic cups, and even OTA issues; as we understand it there are talks between the Government and rebel fighters to try to stop the attacks on the local population.
Overall ECX volumes at ECX are down from 31 K MT in 2019 to 26 K MT this year, mostly Washed coffee from the South, which is down by over 7 K MT:
Prices remain high although we are seeing some signs that they may reduce, particularly if volumes increase in the coming weeks. Shippers are reluctant to offer aggressively wanting to see ECX price evolution confirm the downward trend.
Weather remains favourable for drying cherries and the little parchment still requiring drying.
by Charles Seara Cardoso
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