Accurate and reliable information about the war is difficult to find and news from reliable sources is only sporadically published. However, we understand that the front has advanced much closer to Addis following the taking of Shewa Robit town by TPLF forces, the map below clearly shows the advances that have been made by the Tigray forces in recent weeks. Many foreign governments have advised their nationals to leave the country, latest being Germany and France following the USA and UK. However, putting things into perspective, the coffee growing areas, mostly to the West, South West and South of Addis Ababa, whereas the fighting is focused to the North of the capital:
Central Government has double down, believing that the TPLF forces can be repelled militarily whereas the rebels have been emboldened by recent territorial gains and the capture of 16,000 Government soldiers. Recent moves by the African Union to mediate between the waring parties have been put on ice as the fighting intensifies. The Prime Minister has decided to lead from the Front and has been seen in military fatigues surrounded by soldiers. Meanwhile in Addis Ababa life continues more or less normally, coffee continues to get processed, stuffed in containers and transported to Djibouti for shipment. The logistics are slow, mostly because containers are hard to come by (as a consequence of low imports) but coffee is getting shipped. Our hope and expectation is that the fighting will stop before Addis Ababa comes into play avoiding needless suffering and destruction, regardless of which side claims the upper hand in the ongoing conflict.
In the growing areas the harvest continues, not all Washing Stations are operating due to a lack of funds and the high prices being paid for cherries. However the conditions for harvesting and processing are good; our expectations of a larger crop are being met, however we are expecting a higher proportion of the crop in Naturals vs Washed coffees. This will be reflected in export prices by firm differentials for Washed coffees (less of them available) and firm Natural differentials due to firm prices for Brazil Natural Arabica qualities.
Birr 47.76 = USD 1
Have a good weekend