We cannot say that it comes as a surprise but the December 2020 export volumes once again are below expectations; May to Dec 2020 exports are 25% below same period in 2019, unless the pace of Exports picks up significantly in the first 4 months of 2021, we shall see exports for the 12 month period May 20 to April 21 below 4 Million bags. Current sales pace Oct to Dec 20 versus our own Coffee Ithaka estimate are running behind by 6%. We have been commenting over the past few weeks and months on the slow pace of sales and this has been confirmed by actual exports since October. We are not sure what the effect the May elections will have on coffee flow from the interior to ECX and on to vessels but hopefully it will accelerate the pace of exports during the first quarter of 2021. We should also consider that the 2020 crop is higher than the previous crop and therefore more coffee is available for export from January onwards. In addition the crop came in early so coffee will flow earlier through the pipeline to Addis. Moreover, we believe that there still are many rolled over contracts that need to be shipped. Meanwhile, shippers are eager to sell, lower grade Naturals are easier to move because of more reasonable Minimum Registration Prices whereas Grade 2 Minimum Registration Prices remain still too high to attract any serious activity.

May to Dec         142,949         190,712         156,332
  20/21 19/20 18/19
May           25,967           28,449           26,142
June           25,790           29,294           27,082
July           19,015           26,512           17,928
August           19,995           30,279           23,694
September           14,443           23,696           17,557
October           13,018           19,966           17,674
November           11,964           18,328           13,263
December           12,757           14,188           12,992
January            16,570           11,166
February            17,456           16,199
March            26,949           20,739
April            25,135           21,809
TOTAL          276,821         226,245
(Ethiopia Exports in MT)

Forex: Birr 39.38 to the USD (the Birr actually appreciated to the USD, even if only marginally).

Have a nice weekend.

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