The number of people testing positive for Coronavirus stands at 12, up from 6 the previous day. The government has started to take social isolation measures, government employees are (as much as possible) to work from home; at ECX the number of players allowed to participate in the daily trading has been restricted to reduce the number of people on the trading floor; exporters have been given particular days of the week which they can attend the ECX, limiting the number of days in a week when they can buy coffee at ECX from 5 to 2 or 3.

The government has warned that it may take further steps to increase social isolation and restrict normal daily life in a bid to limit the spread of the virus; we do not know what these measures will be but if what has been happening in other parts of the world is anything to go by, economic activity will be constrained. So far the effects of the worldwide pandemic have been very limited in Ethiopia however do not rule out increased disruption to the normal flow of coffee from the interior to Addis and from Addis to FOB Djibouti.

It will depend on how the Governments in Ethiopia and Djibouti react and what measures are put in place. We cannot predict how individuals will react either, stakeholders along the supply chain can also unilaterally take actions that result in delays in contract execution, so far all seems to be functioning, but we know from what has happened in Europe, Asia, and the American continent that things can change very fast and without warning.

At ECX Lekempti coffees continue to flow in good volumes and quality is good; our quality concerns of earlier in the year have for now disappeared; the shortage is in Natural Southern coffees, the volumes of Sidamo 4 arriving at ECX are extremely small.

The Birr is trading at 32.75 to the USD, in March the Ethiopian currency devalued 1.4% to the USD

by Charles Seara Cardoso

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