By all accounts the January export figure is dismal, however we have to wait for the Ethiopian calendar to catch up with “ours” to get an official number. The recent rally in NY has helped shippers sell any remaining stocks, just in time before focus turns to New Crop business. However, we expect the export market to remain quiet for the coming weeks until we start to get more significant internal sell pressure for New Crop coffees. Currently, warehouses in Addis are empty of stock, middlemen are struggling to sell since exporters cannot find interest from overseas buyers at the asking prices. Demand will surface when Minimum Registration Prices start to reflect more realistic differentials; we saw this happen for prices for past crop coffees and we are expecting this to happen for New Crop coffees – shipment April/May onwards.
There are rumours in Addis that the Government is planning to introduce a new Export Tax of 15%. So far these are only rumours, however we would not be surprised if this happens given the pressures on Government to stabilise the economy now that the country has returned to peace and the focus is on reconstruction.
Birr 53.52 = USD 1
Have a good weekend.