A quick update on the pandemic in Ethiopia, where confirmed cases has risen to 191, the focus seems to be on the borders with Somalia and Djibouti where the virus appears to be more widespread. It is difficult to say if the relatively small numbers of confirmed cases is because the virus is being kept in check or if many cases are simply not being registered. At face value the situation in Djibouti appears to be worse, with 1,133 reported cases out of a population of just under 1 M people. There is little disruption to shipments of Ethiopian coffee due to the pandemic, nevertheless we are experiencing delays in shipment due to the usual Ethiopian issues, power cuts, poor quality, lack of liquidity, etc…

Tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia because of the damming of the Nile are once again in the limelight as Ethiopia announced that it will start to fill the damn in August.

Prices at ECX increased during the month of April as shippers continue to cover previously established shorts, prices for lower grade Washed coffees from Teppi and Bebeka  have increased approx. 20 c/lb and are being mixed in with Southern coffees to be shipped as Sidamo 2. Natural coffee prices at ECX have also increased in the last 2 weeks by approx. 10 cents as shippers come under increasing pressure to fulfil commitments,  this could be the reason behind the Coffee & Tea Authority increasing Minimum Registration Prices of last week, which has stifled business this week. Below we track the Minimum Registration Prices over the last few weeks.

The zig-zag pattern in the minimum registration prices is probably a result of the dynamic between the volumes registered (or lack of them) and the desire to achieve high prices! There appears to be very little consideration for movements (or lack of them) in the C market. Let’s see what the C&T Authority come up with for next week.

The Birr is currently traded at 33.63 to the USD.

by Charles Seara Cardoso

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