While on the one hand we are increasingly optimistic that the Ethiopian conflict that has been raging for the past 2 years has a chance to finally come to a resolution, when it come to the coffee crop, the situation is rather dire. Many washing stations in areas that produce some of the country’s best coffee are not opening, mostly because of lack of financing and resistance from farmers to sell at the current market prices after the crop started being marketed at much higher levels only 4 weeks ago. This places a big question mark on the availability of washed coffees in the coming months as farmers that may be unhappy with fresh cherry prices will simply dry these and sell naturals. This option affords farmers the option to sell their produce at a later date but reduces the availability of washed coffees for 2022/23 crop. Many shippers that advanced cash to agrabes last season are not doing so this season since their experience was indeed very bitter having been delivered poor quality at inflated prices. Furthermore, while during the 21/22 harvest terminal market prices headed North this year the opposite is true; the terminal market continues its relentless drive downwards shelshocking stakeholders all along the supply chain. If cherry prices return to more reasonable levels as they appear to be doing (we understand that in parts of Guji prices are at 40 Birr/kg cherry) then it will be farmers that absorb the lower prices rather than shippers and middlemen as it has been in the last few months.
The BBC has been prolific in the last few days with stories and clips on the Ethiopian conflict and latest developments: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-63491625?ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=twitter&ns_campaign=bbc_live&ns_linkname=63491625%26Ethiopia%20civil%20war%3A%20Why%20Western%20Tigray%20matters%262022-11-02T16%3A48%3A13.000Z&ns_fee=0&pinned_post_locator=urn:bbc:cps:curie:asset:0e9634b2-6899-4a80-9055-fe5a3693f6cc&pinned_post_asset_id=63491625&pinned_post_type=share
and on the peace talks: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-63490546
Meanwhile we continue to struggle to get coffee shipped, lack of containers and vessels calling Djibouti the same old reasons for delays and more delays. On a more positive note, quality of coffee arriving in Addis from Wellega and other Grade 5 regions is improving as the weather is drier.
Birr 52.91 = USD 1
Have a peaceful weekend.