The Ethiopia Government declared a State of Emergency this week, whereas in itself this did not bring any changes to daily life in Ethiopia it paves the way for the Government to impose stricter restrictions on the free movement of people and allows the authorities to order the population to obey rules by force if necessary. Social distancing measures are systematically being implemented such as restricting the number of passengers in public transport vehicles, etc. people are strongly being discouraged to move around the country although goods can still freely being transported between locations in Ethiopia and to the port in Djibouti. The Ethiopia Government has stressed that export activities are to continue unimpeded and our experience is that this is what is happening albeit with delays in banks handling LCs, Shipping lines confirming bookings and releasing containers. There were also some delays reported upcountry loading coffees and on the road network. Meanwhile, reported cases of Covid-19 so far in Ethiopia stand at 65 with 2 deaths and Djibouti 140 cases with 1 death.

Djimmah and Lekempti prices at ECX remained stable this week. One of the reasons for lower competition at ECX remains the liquidity issues experienced by exporters finding it difficult to access funds from banks to purchase coffee. Furthermore the minimum registration prices for all qualities over the last few weeks have put a stranglehold on normal trading activity.

Birr is currently trading at 33.05 vs the USD.

by Charles Seara Cardoso

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