Premium Coffee Culture since 1901

Get to know us

We are excited to announce the opening of our US office!

For many years now, we have had good American customers and moved coffee directly from origin to the United States. Through our new US office we aim to better serve the needs of our customers across the pond.

New York has always been the epicentre of business creation and innovation. As a hub for finance, global and inclusive culture, with a rather it only seemed as the natural choice to start.

All the way from Melbourne, Australia, Sam began his coffee career in the central highlands of Vietnam. Lured by the bright lights of New York City, and the even brighter prospect of joining Europe's premier specialty merchant, List + Beisler, Sam is responsible for gearing-up L+B's sure-fire expansion into the North American market.

When not chasing the sun, waves, or playing golf, you'll find Sam hamming-it-up in the Hamptons social scene, tending his manicured lawn, or passionately explaining the difference between Rugby and Australian Rules Football - the actual game played in heaven!

Get to know us

First Certified SCA Premier Training Campus in Germany

What is an SCA Premier Training Campus?

In short, an SCA member company or organization that has met all the requirements set forth by the SCA, and is thus certified to impart SCA-approved coffee education.

Campuses are located all over the world, with more being added to the list of campuses each year. In Germany, we are proud to be the first added to the list! As a campus, we strive to offer a unique experience when it comes to coffee education —all while showcasing commitment to standards of the educational experience.

As part of the certification process, we had Owen Thom visit our training facilities who shared his feedback with us:

keyboard_arrow_right"The classroom makes a very unique set up but one that is perfect and something that can be taken advantage of. Students have the chance to relax, as well and learn in a surround of peace, comfort and atmosphere."

keyboard_arrow_right"Overall List and Beisler have a great premise for green and sensory [Premium Training Center] status and meet all the necessary standards to have this."

If you would like to know more about Premier Training Campuses, you can check out the SCA website for more info on it.

Why did we decide to become certified?
At List + Beisler we believe in fostering high coffee quality standards both within and outside. What that means is an explicit commitment to quality standards within the company, all whilst taking an outward and active approach to coffee education and its promotion. We want to equip ourselves so that we can empower others.

We do not play the part: we are serious about coffee and becoming certified was our way of materialising and publicly acknowledging our commitment to high coffee quality standards and education.

At origin

Giving back to the people at origin

Back in February 2018, we visited the Sidamo coffee producing region together with our Ethiopian Partners, Moplaco. During this trip, besides visiting producers, we were introduced to one of the projects that Moplaco has developed in this region in collaboration with the local community: The Sergera Elementary School.

This school was built over 8 years ago and its intention was to create an environment that would encourage children to attend classes. Year by year, attendance has improved and now about 2000 children attend the school. Since its early beginnings, the school has significantly improved but as the people at Moplaco put it, "it is an ongoing feat".

The school operates on two shifts, morning and afternoon, in which 1000 children attend at a time. Currently, it has 10 classrooms of which only 2 have concrete floor, the remaining have a sandy dirt floor covered by wood straps. This type of flooring, although cheap is the perfect environment for fleas to nest, which represents a problem to already overcrowded classrooms.

At List + Beisler, we believe in fostering sustainable communities within the coffee industry. On this occasion, we have decided to collaborate with Moplaco and the Community of Sergera to help renovate further classrooms, improve the floors and walls as well as provide them with furniture, with the aim of creating a safer and healthier environment for the children; a space where they can learn and work in better conditions.

The project will span from March 2018 until December 2018 and during this time, we are tasked with managing the overall project design. Moplaco will collaborate as manager of the overall project while the community of Sergera will be involved as workers.

We believe that bettering the overall existing infrastructure will give children the opportunity to learn in proper conditions.

Stay tuned for updates on the project.

Recap

Germany's First Q-Arabica Course and Exam

In Feb 2019 we hosted Germany's very first Q-Arabica Course and Exam at our SCA-Training Campus in Berlin. Twelve participants from all over Europe practiced and got tested in 19 different disciplines in order to receive the most respected certification in coffee sensory: the Q-Grader.
Since there was such great demand we are already planning another Q-course in the second half of 2019. Please get in touch with us in case of interest.

At Origin

Trip to Tanzania

Tanzania, August 2019

Right on time for the first days of harvest, we went to the north of Tanzania to have a look at what to expect from the upcoming crop. This was also our first visit to the Edelweiss farm – plenty of things to be excited about!


Check out the route on this map.

Trip to Tanzania

Machare Estate, Kilimanjaro

Machare Estate, Kilimanjaro. Starting off in the Kilimanjaro region, we were welcomed with unusual sunshine for these times. Machare Estate allows you to have a cup of coffee with a direct view onto Kilimanjaro. The farm is surrounded by two rivers and nestled on the lush slopes of the Kilimanjaro Mountain. Bente, the owner of Machare, aims to cultivate 100 % organically certified coffee in a few years. She has quite some talent to teach herself things that go beyond her in-depth knowledge of coffee: an irrigation system that supplies the whole plantation with only one pump and a Tanzanian-tailored organic fertilizer are only two of the projects she successfully executed in the past years. Imagine a farm that has experimented with so many best practices from all over the world, that it is considered state-of-the-art coffee processing in East Africa. This results not only in a unique set-up involving much of the surrounding communities but also in a high-quality cup that constantly convinces with beautiful aromas and high complexity. Machare's coffees are full of tomato, bergamot and berries that play with smooth citric acidity. We have had these coffees for several years now and can only support her engagement that reflects these colorful aromas in one cup.

During our visit in August, parts of the Machare Estate had ripened much earlier than in previous years. Picking in lower altitudes had already begun. Not only on Machare, but also on the many surrounding smallholder farms, people had started to pick the first ripe cherries. Samples should come to our lab in November, first coffees should reach our warehouse in Germany by March.

Last year, we entered a joint project to strengthen Machare's surrounding communities. To us, a strong coffee community with established infrastructure enables synergies as well as stable supply from the region. The goal of the project was to imrpove coffee processing for Machare's neighboring Central Pulping Units (CPU's). These CPU's are owned and operated by the surrounding smallholder farmers to depulp, ferment, wash and dry the parchment of many in one facility. Together with Bente, we decided to supply the CPU's with shade nets and plastic canvas to support their drying processes on African drying beds. Originally, shade nets were used in olive processing, covering the olives and drying them in a more gentile way. Farmers at the Kilimanjaro already dry their parchment in the shade of many trees. Nevertheless, these nets still come in handy. Drying the parchment involves regular turning to ensure constant quality. Placing the parchment on nets rather than directly on wire has several advantages:

keyboard_arrow_rightThe wire is hard to replace or repair as the material is rising in price

keyboard_arrow_rightHandling becomes easier, no beans are missed out on or fall through the wire, parchment can be poured all at once

keyboard_arrow_rightAlready tucked in nets, parchment can be quickly wrapped in canvas in order to protect from rain and humidity at night

The CPU's range in size: the biggest one in the area gathers 74 farmers while others collect the cherries of 10 farmers only. A total of 158 shade nets and 100 plastic canvas were given to 13 CPU's neighboring Machare. Using the shade nets means another step to professionalization and towards a more consistent quality. Easing the work of coffee farmers supports keeping the farm job attractive for generations to follow. Ensuring a stable coffee infrastructure usually creates greater coffees for roasters and coffee lovers. Thank you Bente for your support!

Trip to Tanzania

Smallholder cooperatives, Kilimanjaro

Smallholder cooperatives, Kilimanjaro. Our second visit took us a bit east of the Kili to the producers of our regional coffees "Kulala Kifaru", "Lulu Kaskazini" and "Mamsera Amcos". While the first two coffees represent a mix from several cooperatives, Mamsera Amcos coffee stems from a single-cooperative.
Seven members of the UTZ-certified Mamsera Amcos welcomed us at their headquarters and warehouse. Their modern organization is led by a female manager and supported by a retired accountant of the Tanzanian Coffee Board. In total 2,000 members bring their parchment to the cooperative to be weighed and sold. A similar set-up was found at another cooperative called Mamba South Cooperative. We got to speak to several farmers and members of the cooperatives. All of them named similar challenges they are currently facing: costs for fertilizers, aging trees and especially the youth leaving to the cities.

To tackle these challenges, the cooperatives have come up with practical solutions: regular trainings teach the farmers how to produce their own fertilizers as done at the farm of Christian Arestides Massae (see picture). In cooperation with an NGO, they are also setting up a nursery to slowly replace some of the 100-year-old trees by fresh and more productive ones. In addition, the farmers exchange their experiences in pruning with "promoter farmers" within the cooperatives. Convincing the youth to follow in coffee growing remains the most challenging problem though. By employing young people, the cooperatives try to create a bridge between the generations. They also award the best 45 farmers as an incentive for good quality and prestige. Yet, according to them, the average age of a coffee farmer in the Kili area currently lies above 60. Next to climate change, we also consider this as one the critical points for future coffee production. The cooperatives have done a great job in this area and we hope to have a continuous coffee flow in the future, too!

By buying these coffees, you certainly contribute to supporting the smallholder farmers from these cooperatives, too. Coffees from this area tend to be slightly floral and come with an intense citric acidity. We expect the first samples from this area in November and are excited to see what this year's production will bring!

Trip tp Tanzania

Edelweiss, Ngorongoro Crater

Edelweiss Estate, Ngorongoro Crater. Heading west from Moshi, our next destination led us to the Arusha Coffee Mill. This dry mill is owned by the Edelweiss Estate and mills the parchment of 4-5 neighboring farms next to their own. We got to cup the first Edelweiss lots from lower altitudes. Neel Vohora, the third generation owner of the farm, loves to experiment with different processing styles. This upcoming crop there will be refreshing samples of carbonic maceration, anaerobic fermentation and honey coffees to be checked out. First samples should reach us in the second half of September, with shipments reaching us in Jan/Feb.

The Edelweiss Estate consists of two neighboring farms: Edelweiss and Helgoland/Ascona. The funky German names are a heritage from German settlement in the early 20th century. Both farms are adjacent to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area with an abundance of wildlife such as elephants, buffalos, lions, the endangered black rhinos and zebras. This wildlife is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, this land remains a diversified part of its natural surroundings. On the other hand, the coffee trees have undergone a quite stringent rejuvenation program over the past ten years, production is said to reach a new peak this year. Yet, buffalos and elephants in particular cut back yields by destroying not only a few trees but sometimes also complete hillsides. Young buffalos that grow horns, are suffering from itching, so they rub their horns on coffee trees. Elephants dig huge holes with their tusks to lick minerals out of the soils. Both farms already dedicate 30% of their area to a natural buffer zone for wildlife protection. It remains tricky though to balance the needs of farmers and wildlife in such proximity. Nevertheless, Neel is positive to find a solution that works for both.

Until then, we keep our fingers crossed that buffalos and elephants are not too keen on the fine cherries Edelweiss has been producing and will leave more of that juicy and complex coffee for us. Stay tuned for some unique rhubarb in your cup!

Sustainability

We are the first World Coffee Research partner in Germany!

Sustainability is inseparably linked to our company's DNA. List + Beisler has been promoting and supporting sustainability projects in coffee-growing regions for a very long time.

We mainly focus on coffee-related trainings for coffee farmers. Our primary topics of training include best practices for farm health, harvesting, processing, and caring for coffee quality during production. The main objective of the projects is to improve the farmers' quality and productivity through enhancements of their agronomy and production skills, or "software," such as better pruning techniques and composting methods.

The limitation we regularly face is the existing infrastructure, or the "hardware" – the coffee trees themselves. We typically find randomly mixed varieties that have been planted conveniently, but not strategically optimized for providing the farmer higher quality, more productivity, and efficiency.

This must change if we hope to improve an existing farm's chances of not only having a sustainable business model but especially in our pursuits for improvements. This caused us to begin looking for ways to transform the farm design with those farmers who wish to see these improvements made. After an extensive search, we were able to find an organization specifically addressing these needs utilizing a scientific, progressive, non-GMO approach and potential solutions.

We are very happy to announce our partnership with World Coffee Research (WCR).

We had the great opportunity to meet Vern Long, the new CEO of WCR in Berlin during the WOC. She attended our company's get-together, and with refreshing drinks in our hands, we explored collaborating.

This is what we learned about the WCR: they are a collaborative, not-for-profit research organization, formed by the global coffee industry in 2012. Using advances in agricultural science, it is possible to improve coffee yields, quality, climate resilience, and farmer livelihoods. WCR focuses exactly on this work: they use advanced and applied research in coffee genetics (no GMO!) and agronomy to create new coffee varieties and imagine new agronomic approaches. Adding these new varieties to the farm increases biodiversity at farm level.

Improved and focused diversity does a couple of things:

1) With more biodiversity, a farm is able to weather the storm of new pests as well as a changing climate.

2) With focused variety planting, a farm can plant the "correct" varieties for their specific geography and climatic conditions. This allows a coffee tree to be put into an environment that fits its needs. A happy tree is a healthy tree, and healthy trees produce more and better coffee.

The WCR has an excellent network of leading scientists and institutions in coffee-producing countries around the world. Together, they develop solutions that are quickly implementable and flow straight to innovative and quality-focused coffee farmers.

Not only are we partnering with WCR, but we are inviting you to partner as well!
How can you participate? How does it work?

keyboard_arrow_rightRoasters agree to donate USD 0,01— USD 0,10 per pound (EUR 0,02 – EUR 0,20 per kilo) of coffee purchased through List + Beisler.

keyboard_arrow_rightList + Beisler matches the donation of the roaster with USD 0,01 per pound (EUR 0,02 per kilo) of the coffee purchased through us.

keyboard_arrow_rightList + Beisler keeps track of coffee sales to roasters, adding however many cents per pound/kilo the roaster has indicated to the coffee purchased. The contribution is included as a cost of doing business on the roaster's invoice, similar to docking costs, brokerage fees, or warehousing costs.

keyboard_arrow_rightList + Beisler collects the funds and disperses them to WCR four times a year.

keyboard_arrow_rightOnce set up with List + Beisler, there is no work for you.

You can find more info on worldcoffeeresearch.org or contact us at any time!

Coffee Knowledge

List+Beisler’s contribution to the 4th edition of “The Coffee Guide”

Blog by: Philip von der Goltz, 14.10.2021

Being in charge of sustainability, marketing, and digitalization at List + Beisler, these were special weeks for me. More than 20 years ago, I started working in the beautiful world of coffee. I was only a couple of weeks into the new job when international coffee prices reached their historically lowest levels of 41.50 c/lb. This was in December 2001. Back then, it looked like the end of the coffee world to me. Luckily, I was proven wrong!
Extreme price volatility is one of many factors directly affecting everyone's lives and businesses in the coffee value chain. However, the most fragile member in our community is the coffee farmer, particularly the smallholder farmer. Coffee farmers depend on the international coffee prices and Mother Nature's mood, local currency volatility, and political developments. Many factors come together and are often far beyond their influence.

Coffee: a complex body of knowledge
A thorough understanding of the coffee world is a time-intense endeavor yet key to improving your own knowledge and your decision-making capabilities. In my own journey, I had the privilege of learning from some of the industry's bests. Still, there is plenty of room for further development. After all these years, I came to at least one firm belief: coffee is a livelong-learning process; the more you know, the more you realize there is more to learn and understand. The complexity of this global business creates an ever-evolving and changing reality on production, trade, consumption, and many other components of the magical elixir. Knowledge needs to be adjusted and updated constantly.

So, how to start and what to learn? The nature of complexity is that it is hard to summarize and simplify. Coffee grows all over the globe and is consumed in many ways. Suppose you want to understand not only your own perspective but genuinely thrive on the job. In that case, it is crucial to get ideas, thoughts, facts, and science-based insights combined from as many professionals as possible. Hence, choose your sources wisely.

Back in 1992, the first Coffee Guide was published by the United Nations' International Trade Centre (UN/ITC). It turned into the leading source of information on coffee matters for professionals. It was a commodity handbook, mainly written by Jan van Hilten and Morten Scholer. After the initial success, they continued and developed two additional coffee guides (published in 2002 and 2012) together with a team of industry experts. This – in my opinion – fantastic work provided the coffee industry with detailed knowledge, providing an invaluable asset for the coffee world.
Almost 10 years have passed since the last publication. It was not only time to update information but also to adjust to new realities.

Source: ITC "Building on the legacy: From commodity handbook to comprehensive working tool."

How it started and team-building
Eighteen months ago, Hernan Manson, head of UN/ITC's Alliances for Action unit, asked me to take over this immense task of updating ITC's Coffee Guide. As honoring this task is, it is also challenging. On day 1 of this project, Hernan and I had just started scoping the depth of this endeavor when we slowly realized the dimension of the work on our plate. The vast amount of topics to be covered made me recall a saying from a teacher during my school days: "You don't need to know everything; you just need to know where to find it!". And so we started brainstorming on the individuals with whom we wanted to work together. We built a fully dedicated and brilliant core team: Sarah Charles as my principal co-author, editor, and creative powerhouse. She is a well-known writer, having already worked on several coffee publications. Martina Bozzola, an outstanding academic, the most charming professor in economics and agriculture at the Queen's University of Belfast, and a senior research associate at Zurich University for Applied Science. Tommaso Ferretti, an expert on sustainable trade finance, finished his PhD at McGill University and became a father when creating this new guide edition. He surely had very short nights, but not only due to the newborn baby. Eleni Gerakari, getting all our thoughts and ideas into actionable work and getting some order into our creative mess. She is an invaluable asset to all of us! Last but not least: Neil Rosser – the data master. His knowledge goes back to more than 30 years of profound insights into the numbers that make the world of coffee go round.
Next to our core team, we engaged a highly professional and committed group of over 70 industry experts. The range is wide: from coffee farmers, cooperatives, exporters, importers, roasters, coffee shops, consultants to academia, international institutions, NGOs, and associations of all sorts. We are proud to have covered the whole coffee stakeholder community. This network of highly-passioned coffee lovers is one of the core assets of the new guide.

What is new?
Let me give you a quick glimpse of what is new:
• Sustainability is a core topic, with an attempt to guide the industry towards the new normal
• Latest statistics and trends: Production numbers are split into three groups that differentiate between standard, premium, and specialized coffees.
• There is a focus on user-friendliness. Eight independent modules with a corresponding toolbox adding practical advice and case studies.
• A new chapter on the latest innovations is now part of the guide. This mainly involves the digital side of the business.

After an intense 18 months, I am beyond happy to finally launch this new edition. I stand amazed and thankful to all of you who have supported us in getting this mammoth project done! With this Coffee Guide, we set the cornerstones for a new legacy and hope to have contributed to a better understanding of the coffee world for professionals all along the value chain. The challenges of the next few years will increase and become more severe. May the new Coffee Guide help us in finding proper and sustainable solutions.

Where to find it?
No other day could have been better for officially launching the 4th edition of The Coffee Guide than International Coffee Day (October 1, 2021).
You can download "The Coffee Guide, 4th Edition" for free here.

Looking forward to your comments and impressions!

Sustainability

Farming Accelerator Project - Ethiopia

October 2021

While the Climate Change Conference COP26 is taking place in Glasgow and clearly shows the importance of keeping sustainability at the core of our actions, we are happy to tell you about our findings after coming back from an extensive field visit in our Farming Accelerator project in Southern Ethiopia.
This project has been running for more than a year now. It started just before the Covid-19 related lock-downs in March 2020. Despite all the restrictions related to the pandemic, we could adapt to the necessary hygienic precautions and begin with the much-needed work in that part of Ethiopia.
The principle of the project is simple and smart: we partnered with UN-ITC, Enveritas, and COQUA to tackle the most evident sustainability challenges faced by smallholder coffee farmers in Southern Ethiopia. We selected six specific coffee regions in Yirgacheffe and Sidama, known for their outstanding quality. Using artificial intelligence, satellite technology, and in-person interviews, Enveritas can provide us with accurate and transparent data on the farmers' situation. Based on this information, we developed a set of trainings together with UN-ITC and COQUA. These trainings cover two main areas, and we call them:
Sustainable Productivity Acceleration, covering among others:

• Good agricultural practices
• Product quality consistency

Farming as a Family Business, creating awareness on:

• Basic Financial Literacy (accounting and record-keeping)
• Income diversification and business development


All training is inclusive and targets all members of the family living and working on the farm. Youth and gender are equally involved.
Once the training modules are refined, it remains a challenge to deploy the training. We have recruited several farmer trainers, young enthusiastic agronomical professionals from the towns who are well-connected within the local communities. They get trained by a senior agronomist and experienced coach. The project counts with 60 demonstration plots where the farmers are invited to attend the training. The farmer trainers explain the methodologies, and then the farmers and their families can experiment by themselves under the supervision of the farmer trainer. Each farmer trainer trains a group of farmers. Thanks to this methodology, we can provide training for 1,800 farmers in the region.
We have already accomplished composting pits on all demo plots, and farmers are already adopting these new techniques on their land. They have also learned how to prune or stump a tree and understood the importance of having young and strong plants to accelerate productivity. Most of the smallholder farmers are not taking any notes on income and expenses, and therefore they are not able to accurately assess the results of their work. To better manage the farm, though, it is crucial to understand basic numbers coming from income and expenses. This is why we are also training this. And usually, women and the younger generation are very prone to understand the importance and impact of this exercise.
Now, once the project runs, it is essential for all participants – from farmer to roaster - to access these coffees. Systemic change is embedded through the continuous purchase of these project-related coffees.
This is what we define as "Sustainability as a Service" (SaaS) – with a bit of tweak from its original acronym ;-). In a nutshell: excellent coffee quality, sustainably produced and sourced from tree to cup.

Regions visited:
We started the journey flying from Addis Abeba to Awasa. From there on, we drove south towards Dila. Departing from Dila, we went to the coffee fields located around the small villages (called Kebeles) of Nurakorate, Kumato, Adame, Gotiti, and Chelchele. We visited 15 demonstration plots and farms surrounding these demo plots. We have spoken to over 100 farmers during our field visits and interviewed them and the farmer trainers to better understand their needs and check the efficiency of our training service provided.

 

Coffee News 22-02-2022

What's going on in Central America?

Costa Rica

  • Presidential elections took place in Costa Rica on February 6, but none of the candidates could obtain at least 40% of the needed votes. Hence, José María Figueres and Rodrigo Chaves Robles, the two candidates with the highest votes, will be facing a second (and final) round on April 3.
  • In all significant coffee-producing regions of Tarrazú, Central Valley, Western Valley, Tres Rios, Orosi, Turrialba, Brunca, and Guanacaste, coffee farmers are very busy finishing the harvest, focusing more and more on the post-harvesting activities. Coffee production for this season is expected to be around 1.45 million bags.
  • Weather conditions continue to be favorable for all farming and processing-related works.
  • Dry-mills are working at total capacity preparing the coffee for export. The first export months of the new crop reveal a higher number compared to the same time-lapse of the previous season. This needs to be watched carefully as the exports also include delayed shipments of the last crop.
  • The main ports of Moin and Limon face the same problems. Lack of containers, overbooked vessels, and increasing freight rates make delayed shipments almost the new normal.

Guatemala

  • On February 16, an earthquake of 6.2 magnitudes occurred near Guatemala's former capital Antigua. Two people died, landslides were triggered, and trees covered the roads.
  • The region has recovered pretty well from the two hurricanes, and infrastructure has been widely restored, allowing workers and agricultural inputs to reach the farms in time.
  • The 21/22 harvest is looking very good, and production numbers circulating among experts estimate a total production of 3.8 million bags of coffee. A bottleneck that needs consideration is the shortage of pickers – particularly in the region of Huehuetenango.
  • Some farmers report cherries being affected by Broca. This black beetle, about 2 mm in size, bores tunnels into the cherries and lays its eggs there. Its larvae feed the coffee beans inside the cherry.
  • Exporters are trying to fill their short positions and competing in the internal market to buy coffee. This continues to drive up coffee prices, as there does not appear to be enough coffee available to meet all commitments.
  • The situation in Guatemalan ports is the same as in most ports around the globe; unfortunately, there are no exceptions, so delays in shipments are to be expected.

Honduras

  • On January 27, Xiomara Castro was sworn in as Honduras' first female president. Her left-wing "Libre"-Party ends a 12-year run of the right-wing National Party. The ceremony was attended by important international guests, US Vice-President Kamala Harris among them. Meanwhile, Xiomara is following her anti-corruption plea and arrested ex-president Juan Orlando Hernández on drug trafficking charges. His younger brother Tony Hernández has already been sentenced to lifelong imprisonment in the US – also for drug trafficking.
  • Scattered but persistent rains have encouraged a pretty uneven maturation process of the coffee cherries over the last few weeks. Pickers need to collect the cherries in multiple laps. This takes longer and adds costs for the farmers. In addition, the cherries may still be green when picked, which undoubtedly affects the quality of the final product. Weather forecasts for the upcoming week show more sunshine on the radar.
  • Nonetheless, the harvest is almost complete in the lower altitude regions. In the higher regions, however, harvesting is expected to continue through next month.
  • The Instituto Hondureño del Café (IHCAFE) and the international trade estimate the 21/22 harvest between 5.8 and 6 million bags.
  • The coffees that arrive at the dry mills are prepared for export and shipped to the port. Here, the situation has worsened in recent weeks. The ships are overbooked and there are not enough containers available.

Nicaragua

  • Similar situation to Honduras. Coffee harvesting in the lower-lying regions is almost complete, while harvesting is still underway in the higher-lying areas. Activities are expected to continue until the end of March. Production for this harvest is estimated at around 2.65 million bags.
  • As you surely can imagine, the port of Corinto is no exception to the actual logistical disruption. There is a general lack of adequate containers, and vessels are overbooked or even skipping the port. Some exporters are starting to explore the possibility of shipping their coffees from neighboring Costa Rica or Honduras. But the situation there is not much better. Delayed shipments will be the expected result in a couple of weeks from now.
Coffee News 28-02-2022

What's going on in East Africa?

It's not possible to write about news in the coffee lands without coming across the military invasion of Ukraine. We have seen this too many times in our human history: war is never the answer. Our thoughts and feelings are with everyone, especially our friends and their families, in Ukraine. We hope for a fast end to this unnecessary aggression. Stop the war!

Ethiopia

  • The Government has lifted the state of emergency as the situation in the country continues to stabilize. At the same time, there are still some fights in the Afar being reported.
  • Grand Ethiopian Rennasaince Dam (GERD) has started to produce electricity for the first time since Ethiopia began the project almost eleven years ago. The dam is built on the Blue Nile, and downstream countries Sudan and Egypt see this as a threat to their own water supplies. Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed officially inaugurated the first mega-watt produced from this multi-billion-dollar project.
  • Washing stations in the coffee regions are ramping up their operations as the season for washed coffees is over now. Parchment is being moved to Addis Abeba, where the dry mills are running at full steam.
  • The smaller "Jenfel "dry-mills in the coffee regions are milling the first arrivals of natural coffees. The natural coffees will then be moved to Addis Ababa for additional cleaning and sorting.
  • Qualities look very promising so far for the washed coffees. First impressions of the natural season also look very interesting.
  • The total production for this season is pretty much in line with the previous season and is expected to bring along between 6.5 and 6.8 million bags.
  • Activities at the port of Djibouti continue without any substantial news.

 

Kenya

  • This year will be carrying the General elections on August 9. Voters will elect a new President and new members of the National Assembly as well as the Senate and county governors. President Uhuru Kenyatta will not run for candidacy anymore as he reached the constitutional limit of two five-year terms. He is now officially supporting his former rival and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
  • Kenya has stated interest in purchasing electricity from Ethiopia's mega-dam in the upcoming years.
  • The rains have stopped now, and the coffee hills enjoy abundant hot Kenyan sun.
  • The harvest is complete now in all coffee regions. Washing stations are cleaning their operations, and the last bits of parchment are drying in the sun.
  • Very nice qualities are being delivered to the auction, and our quality team is delighted to cup some exceptional lots.
  • Dry-mills of the marketing agents are running at total capacity in two or three shifts per day.
  • Kenya's production has been consistently decreasing over the years. Farmland was converted more and more into real estate, and there have been almost no new coffee plantings replacing the former farmlands. This years' production is expected to meander between 780,000 and 850,000 bags.
  • The situation at the Kenyan-Ugandan border has relaxed, and trucks are passing again, albeit very slowly.
  • Activities at the port of Mombasa have been running without any massive delays till now. With an increasing volume of coffee for export, delays in operations will probably occur.

     

Tanzania

  • The Tanzanian Coffee Board (TCB) has reported 970,000 bags as the official production number for the 20/21 harvest. This is 20% less than the previous season during which the country produced 1.2 million bags.
  • There is almost no more coffee available, and the auctions are being postponed or canceled due to lack of volume.
  • The coffee highlands in the southern part of Tanzania, covering the regions of Mbeya, Mbinga, and Mbozi, are reporting abundant rains and suitable weather conditions for the maturation process of the new crop.
  • The port of Dar Es Salaam faces congestion due to a lack of adequate food containers and overbooked vessels, canceling bookings.

 

Rwanda

  • Lately, the weather has been very rainy. This caused landslides and blocked roads. Access to the coffee regions has become somewhat difficult.
  • The washing stations are getting ready for the beginning of the season, and the first cherries are being delivered. Quantities are still meager.
  • The National Coffee Authority (NAEB) has just released the new farm gate minimum price for this upcoming season, and it's 65% above last year's minimum price. Local traders report that cherry prices are already trading above the established minimum price.
  • It's far too early to assess the quality of this new crop, but at least the volume is expected to be in line with the last seasons, ranging between 260,000 and 380,000 bags.
Coffee News 07-03-2022

What's going on in Asia & Pacific?

We are entering the 12th day after Putin's aggressive invasion of Ukraine, and we continue to be shocked and astonished about this act of terror bringing along a humanitarian and economic crisis. The world continues to be highly nervous, and this is mirrored in volatile prices in the stock and commodity sector. While fossil-fuel-related commodities and grains are registering new record highs, international coffee prices decreased during the last few days. International bans on Russia will make it hard for Russian importers to access coffee (and other goods and commodities alike). According to ITC's coffee guide, Russia consumes about 4.9 million bags per year.
We continue to hope for a quick and peaceful solution to this entirely unnecessary conflict. Say no to war!

 

Indonesia

  • The new crop in Sumatra is expected to be smaller than usual. Climatic conditions have been far from ideal, with rains coming in at the wrong time. First crop surveys are forecasting a 10 – 15% smaller harvest – both for Arabica and Robusta alike. The Robusta harvest is expected to start towards the beginning of April and shall bring between 10 and 10.5 million bags, while Arabica estimations range between 1.7 to 1.9 million bags.
  • Prices are increasing as exporters are looking to fill their shipping contracts.
  • Activities at the ports continue to be slow, very expensive, and tedious.

 

India

  • The Arabica and Robusta harvest in India's central coffee production regions of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu is well underway. Up to 80% of the cherries have been harvested so far. India produces about 5.5 and 6 million bags per year, split into 20% Arabica and 80% Robusta. The volume of washed and natural coffees can vary substantially from year to year. Whether coffee is produced as natural or washed often depends on the logistical infrastructure (is there enough drying capacity?) and the prevailing weather conditions (dry vs. wet weather), and, of course, on premiums paid locally for the washed coffees.
  • India's main coffee shipping ports of Mangalore and Cochin keep track of actual export volumes. Sporadically we hear of adequate food-container shortage, but for now, things are running quite good from a logistical standpoint. Freight prices continue on the high side. Delays may occur again as we are moving more and more into the intensive export time and demand for food containers and vessel space are on the rise.  

 

Vietnam

  • Vietnamese coffee farmers returned to work on their fields after the week-long New Year's Tet celebrations. The Covid-Omicron cases are indeed shooting through the roof in Vietnam. It looks like the celebrations and get-togethers of the last weeks sky-rocketed the spreading among the population. They count a total of 4.43 million cases and are adding daily six-digit figures.
  • The largest global producer of Robusta has completed its harvest a couple of weeks ago. Production numbers are forecasted with about 30 million bags.
  • Weather has been consistently dry and sunny. Some lower altitude regions need irrigation to initiate the flowering process of the trees. Farmers are - according to the crop cycle - applying fertilizers on their coffee plots.
  • Dry-mills are running at total capacity preparing the coffee for export.

 

Papua New Guinea

  • Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape has met Chines Premier Li Keqiang during his official state visit in Beijing. They signed a series of bilateral agreements while intensifying the collaboration of both states and encouraging some Chines investments in PNG.
  • There has been an early start to the 2022 harvest. Some first pickings are taking place in the lower altitude regions. Early estimates of this year's harvest look encouraging and forecast about 800,000 bags.
  • The last weeks have brought some heavy rains, but good sunshine and dryer days are now taking over the weather radar.
Coffee News 14-03-2022

What's going on in South America?

We are now entering the 19th day of Putin's terroristic attack on Ukraine. As fights go on, we see the death toll and the number of injured people and refugees rising while more and more destruction takes place. When will this completely unnecessary act of aggression stop? The world economy will be bearing the aftermaths of this nonsense war for a long time and the humanitarian catastrophe is by far not fully foreseeable now. Sky-rocketing prices for fossil fuels, grains, and other commodities will for massively increase the probability of a global economic and food crisis. Stop the war!

 

Brazil

  • Presidential elections are scheduled for October 2022. Early surveys suggest that ex-President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva is gaining more and more ground on President Jair Bolsonaro – but of course, there is still a long way to go. Journalists foresee an intensive campaign among both candidates.
  • The invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions to Russia have driven the cost of fertilizers through the roof. Brazil used to import about 20% of its fertilizers from Russia. Tereza Cristina, Brazil's Minister of Agriculture, has made a public statement on rising food prices due to the Ukraine invasion and the corresponding increase in the cost of production.
  • Very good rains in Brazil's coffee-growing regions of Minas Gerais. In general terms, the rains of the last months have restored the humidity in the soils and water reservoirs are adequately filled.
  • Coffee cherries are still green and slowly maturing on the trees. The beginning of the harvest is expected in April.
  • Carnival holidays have brought along nice festivities and shorter working weeks, increasing the pressure on the logistical bottlenecks at the ports. Delays are still frequent and freight rates for some routes are costly. Direct shipments from Brazilian ports to Russia are being suspended by most shipping lines.

 

Colombia

  • Colombia's Presidential campaigning is ramping up. Elections are due in May. Thus, the presidential candidates are positioning themselves. Leftist candidate Gustavo Petro has just won a decisive primary victory. Federico Gutierrez, Sergio Fajardo and Ingrid Betancourt are - among others - still in the field and will do their utmost to gain back lost terrain on Petro.
  • According to Colombia's Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), the yearly production from March 2021 to February 2022 fell 5% to 12.1 million bags (-200,000 bags) in a year-on-year comparison. Another reliable source for coffee-statistics is the Ministry of Agriculture: they forecast about 13.2 million bags for the 2022 calendar year.
  • The rising prices for manual labor and chemical inputs substantially increase the cost of production for Colombian coffee farmers.
  • Climate change is showing its face in the coffee-growing regions again. The accumulated rainfalls for February alone were 40% of the average levels.
  • In the southern part of Colombia, the harvest is about to begin. Particularly in the departments Cauca, Valle, parts of Huila, Tolima and Cundinamarca, this harvest is more pronounced than the end-of-year "cosecha principal" (main-crop).
  • Activities at the port of Buenaventura, Cartagena and Santa Marta continue to be slow.

 

Peru

  • Peru's President, leftwing Pedro Castillo, faces a new impeachment effort against him after installing his fourth cabinet in just seven months. Since his election in July 2021, his presidency had to cope with several corruption scandals and significant political instability.
  • Some early pickings of the new crop have been reported in the very low altitude regions in Jaen and Junín. Meanwhile, in the higher altitude coffee growing regions of San Martín, Junín, Cajamarca, Amazonas, Cusco, Pasco, Huánuco, and Puno coffee trees look very healthy and cherries continue their ripening process. 
  • The 2022 harvest is foreseen to meander between 3.9 and 4.2 million bags.
  • Activities at the port are very slow and cumbersome. As the new harvest is getting ready, there is still a backlog of shipments from the 2021 crop waiting to get shipped. Additionally, there has been a significant increase in freight rates.
Coffee News 21-03-2022

What's going on in Central America?

There is a terminology used for the current times: VUCA. This acronym comes from the military and stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity. The continuing aggression from Putin's troops on Ukraine comes along with accelerating climate change, inflation and economic stagnation, distressed global supply-chains, and a never-ending Covid-pandemic. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel: at least some countries are easing their anti-Covid measures as the Omicron variant proves to be contagious but fortunately not as dangerous as the previous versions. A hint of what "normal" looked like two years ago reappears. Live is getting back to the cities and people are going out and enjoying restaurants and cafés. This is for sure good news!
On the other hand, Ukraine's resistance is moving into its 25th day, and the country's devastation is terrifying. When will this nonsense killing stop? We say no to war!

 

Costa Rica

  • Another two weeks to go for the second and final round for the presidential election. On April 3rd, the Costa Rican people will go to the polls and elect either José Maria Figueres or Rodrigo Chaves Robles.
  • The harvest is almost complete now, with only some cherries left in the high-altitude regions. The coffee production forecasts for this season range towards 1.45 million bags.
  • Last weeks' weather conditions have been sweltering and dry. The rainy season is set to begin shortly and will kick off the flowering process of the coffee trees.
  • Costa Rica's main ports, Limon and Moin, face a similar situation as in all other major Central American ports: rising prices for freight rates, lack of equipment, and shipping lines canceling or postponing voyages.

 

Guatemala

  • The harvest is completed in the lower altitude regions. There is some ongoing picking activity left in the higher elevation areas of Huehuetenango, San Marcos, Atitlán, Antigua, Acatenango, Coban, Fraijanes and Oriente.
  • Activities at the ports are similar to the other Central American ports with a lack of adequate container equipment, overbooked vessels, and rising freight rates.

 

Honduras

  • Ex-President Juan Orlando Hernandez was already arrested, now a judge has just granted his extradition to the US. The ex-president is accused - among other crimes - of drug trafficking and will most probably be jailed for life, together with his younger brother Tony Hernandez, in a US prison.
  • In Honduras as well, the harvest is almost complete. The only cherries left on the trees can be found in the higher coffee regions.
  • There are rumors of a smaller than expected crop. Apparently, the hurricanes Iota and Eta have destroyed more coffee trees than initially thought, and climate change and leaf rust are taking their toll on this season's productivity. However, there is uncertainty about the amount of bags kept by farmers and middlemen in regional warehouses. With no new accurate estimates for the 21/22 crop, our estimate continues to range between 5.4 and 5.8 million bags.
  • The beginning of the rainy season will end the actual warm and dry weather patterns of the last weeks.
  • The parchment reaching the exporters' warehouse is now being milled, sorted, bagged, and prepared for export. The situation at Honduras' main ports is similar to the other Central American ports. Expect rising prices and further delays.

 

Nicaragua

  • After a highly disputable victory of President Ortega, where he repressed almost all of his political opponents, he has now closed 25 non-profit organizations in Nicaragua. It looks as if the president is afraid of critique as he is systemically prosecuting all potential differing opinions.
  • Very similar situation to the other Central American countries. The harvest is almost completed, with only small few cherries to be picked in the higher altitude regions of the country. The last picking rounds are expected to be completed towards the beginning of April.
  • The situation at the port is a clear bottleneck. There are not enough containers available, and bookings are being rolled or canceled. Delays and rising freight rates are to be expected.

 

Coffee News 28-03-2022

What's going on in East Africa?

International Arabica coffee prices in New York continue to show their volatile character over the last trading week. With a 14 c/lb trading range between the highs and the lows, prices for May (KCK22) are now trading at 215.05 c/lb. Robusta prices deploy a trading range of about 75 USD/MT in the last week and are trading today at 2125 USD/MT (RMK22).
On Mach 16, the US Federal Reserve announced to raise interest rates by 0.25%. This is the first raise since 2018. It has been rumored that the subsequent increase shall be 0.50 points instead of the planned 0.25%, as inflation might not be tamed otherwise. The European Central Bank will probably follow up shortly as spending for arms buildup and Covid-19 related economic measures trigger inflation.
The Heads of State and Government of the North Atlantic Council of the NATO met in Brussels last Thursday, further condemning Putin's nonsense war and making it very clear that an infringement against any NATO partner country will immediately trigger a military reaction against the aggressor. The sanctions against Russia will be enhanced, bringing their economy more severe difficulties. President Biden has visited Poland and made a clear statement in his carefully crafted speech addressing Putin as an aggressor to the world's democracy and fostering his military support towards all NATO member countries.
We are now on the 33rd day of this horrible war and brutal devastation of Ukraine and its people. As we hope for peace, we are also realistic to see that this invasion might continue for an extended period. Over 3.5 million Ukrainians are forced to leave their homes, thousands have died, and more are injured. And all this for what? #WeSayNoToWar

 

Ethiopia

  • The Ethiopian army has withdrawn from the Tigray region in the northern part of the country. The war between the rebel forces TPLF and the Government has left the country's economy hungry for US-Dollars as they are badly needed to repay the international debts. As a result, Ethiopia has been facing substantial inflation for the early months of 2022 (inflation rate of 35%) and throughout the previous year. The World Bank's statistics record an average inflation rate of over 25% for 2021.
  • As a matter of fact, Ethiopia registered record-setting export numbers: over 5 million bags of the 20/21 crop. It is tough to assess the production numbers correctly since internal consumption is hard to measure. Ethiopia is a coffee-drinking nation, and statisticians say that up to 50% of the coffee is consumed internally. Under this assumption, Ethiopia's coffee production would reach almost 10 million bags(!). But this looks extremely unlikely. It is more probable that a combination of higher production is coming along with lower internal consumption. Ethiopia's coffee production is expected to be about 7.62 million bags for this 21/22 season.
  • In the past, coffee was exclusively traded through the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). Exceptions were big estates and cooperatives, as they could export directly without going through the ECX. Akrabis (as middlemen and wet mill operators are called in Ethiopia) were delivering the coffee to warehouses belonging to the ECX and traders (local exporters) could buy the coffee from the exchange. This rule has changed this season, and exporters and akrabis are partnering and building vertically integrated supply chains. As a side effect, little coffee is being traded through the ECX. But without the exchange as a highly efficient price-finding mechanism, prices asked by akrabis are now unreasonable to exporters, so little coffee is momentarily changing hands.
  • This harvesting season is now completed, and all focus is on the milling and processing parchment and "jenfels" (naturals). Warehouses and dry-mills around Addis are packed with coffee, and processing is at total capacity. Nonetheless, there is little new business going on as there are not many buyers at these current (expensive!) price levels.
  • Activities at the port are running quite well with only minor delays.

 

Kenya

  • General elections in Kenya are scheduled for August 9, 2022. Voters will elect the President and members of the Assembly, the Senate, and Governors, among others. President Uhuru Kenyatta will step down and is not running for Presidency any longer. It looks as if his longtime opponent Raila Odinga will win the elections for the time being. Kenyatta and Odinga have recently reconciled. Let's hope for a fair election campaign.
  • Weather conditions are excellent, with scattered rains in the coffee-growing regions. The upcoming fly crop looks very promising. Harvest is expected to start towards late April beginning of May.
  • The main crop post-harvesting activities are entirely finished by now. Warehouses are packed with parchment from the main crop and are milling the coffee and preparing it for export. We cupped excellent coffees, and some of them are already on their way to Hamburg.
  • There is a lack of adequate food containers at the port of Mombasa. Shipments are currently delayed.

 

Tanzania

  • Tanzania's famous Mara River flows through the Masai Mara game reserve from Kenya's highlands through Tanzania into Lake Victoria. Its waters are heavily polluted, turned black, and brought along dead fishes. Tanzania's authorities are investigating potential sources of contamination. The Mara River is famous for its annual wildebeest migration.
  • There is little coffee news from Tanzania as the harvest is complete and sold, and exporters are now focusing on milling and shipping the containers.
  • Little change in Dar es Salaam's port logistics. It's not easy to find adequate containers, and shipping lines are overbooked, spontaneously canceling bookings. Delays to be expected.

 

Rwanda

  • Good weather conditions with cloudy days and proper amounts of rain and abundant sunshine.
  • The harvest has begun early in Rwanda. Particularly in all lower altitude coffee regions in the west, south, and east, the first rounds of cherry-picking are taking place right now.
  • Internal prices remain very high, and exporters are looking for additional finance possibilities.
Coffee News 04-04-2022

What's going on in Asia & Pacific?

General market situation:
As we enter the 40th day of this nonsense war in Ukraine, another turbulent week in the coffee market with the bulls in the ring went by. This upside market move in New York (Arabica) and London (Robusta) can be attributed to a general picture of uncertainty, and volatility will remain constant for the weeks to come. Shipments from Colombia are still scattered, and Central American shipments do not really want to get going. Delays and rising prices are the consequence.

We will be updating these basic stats weekly: 

The effects of the war have a direct repercussion on the global economy as Ukraine and Russia are essential exporters of grains, fertilizers, oil, and gas. Prices for these commodities have shown a rampant increase, and some grain importing countries such as Egypt and Nigeria will face a severe food crisis. Fuel in Ukraine can momentarily not be used for tractors plowing the fields and drilling seeds.

More than 4 million people were forced to leave Ukraine due to the unceasing aggression of Putin's troops. Cities such as Mariupol and Charkiw are being completely demolished, and civilians are buried alive under the ruins of the shelled buildings. Despite this horrible aggression, the Ukrainians are not giving in and frustrating the military attacks of Putin to a certain extent. But when will this nonsense war end? #StopTheWarNow

 

Indonesia

  • The country counts over 270 million people on its multiple islands and is a keen importer of grains from Russia and Ukraine. The war is hence severely threatening Indonesia's food security.
  • The fly crop harvest has finally started in the northern Sumatran coffee regions around Aceh.
  • Weather conditions have been good, combining abundant sunshine and only a few rainy days. This is always very helpful during post-harvest processing and parchment drying.
  • Activities at Sumatra's main port of Belawan continue to be slow, and freight rates continue on the high end of the spectrum.

 

India

  • The harvesting season for Arabica and Robusta in India's central coffee-growing regions of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu is moving towards its end. About 90% of the coffee has been picked. Robusta harvesting activities are slightly delayed. But this is entirely natural and in line with the crop cycle.
  • Wet- and dry mills are running at total capacity and preparing coffee for export.
  • India produces between 5.5 and 6 million bags of coffee, and about 20% is Arabica while the remaining 80% is Robusta. The number of washed (parchment) vs. naturals will vary from season to season and is highly dependent on regional weather conditions, production facilities on the estates, and the premiums paid for the corresponding quality.
  • The ports of Cochin and Mangalore report slow and tedious logistics. Freight prices continue on the high side, and the lack of adequate containers is not helping to move the cargo to destinations.

 

Vietnam

  • Vietnam is the second-largest coffee-producing country globally and the undisputed #1 Robusta producer. The harvest is complete, and forecasts for the 21/22 crop are meandering between 30 and 33 million bags. Compared to the country's massive Robusta production, Arabica numbers, ranging from 500,000 to 700,000 bags, look almost like a rounding error.
  • Up until last week, there were hot and dry days. Farmers started to irrigate their fields to trigger the flowering. But fortunately, some scattered rains during these last days will help reduce groundwater usage for irrigation.
  • Similarly to most coffee origins, logistic activities at the port are complicated, delayed, and expensive.

 

Papua New Guinea

  • The first pickings of an early crop in 2022 are taking place. Some first parchment deliveries from the Western Highlands around Mt. Hagen reach the dry mills.
  • Production numbers over the last years were pretty consistent. Forecasts for the 2022 crop range from about 800,000 bags.
  • Little to report on the logistics side as the season is only starting. So far, freight rates look relatively high.
Coffee News 11-04-2022

What's going on in South America?

General market situation:

Finally! From Friday the 8th till Sunday, the 10th of April, the famous SCA Expo in Boston took place. It was well visited with more than 10,000 attendees, and everything looked almost "normal". People were meeting in person, cuppings were taking place, and coffee enthusiasts from all over the world were enjoying the fantastique atmosphere of this diverse, open, and international coffee community. Fortunately, it looks like "Covid" was not crossing the mind of the attendees.

At the same time in Shanghai, the citizens of this 25 million metropolis are forced into 10 days of total lockdown. The drastic governments' "Zero Covid" approach is stress-testing China's megacity. The residents complain on social media about a shortage of food and hygiene items. Mothers are detached from their ill babies and children. Workers are forced to sleep in the factories to keep production running. Besides some queues of people forced to be tested regularly, all streets are completely empty. But despite all the efforts to keep the epidemic under control, numbers are rising. The lockdown will surely push the logistic disruption further as delays from manufacturing companies in China – particularly in Shanghai – are becoming evident.

Meanwhile, the brutal invasion of Putin's soldiers into Ukraine continues and reaches a new degree of horror in Bucha, where, after Russian troops withdraw from the northwestern territories of Kyiv, civilians were found dead on the streets. More than 1,200 civilians were killed in this incomprehensible act of crime. And all for what? When will this nonsense war end? #SayNoToWar
The US and the European Union answered Russia's apparent war crimes with more heavy-weight economic sanctions. The sanctions on Russia and the war in Ukraine continue to accelerate the costs of fertilizers and fossil fuels. This will, in turn, increase the cost of production of agricultural goods or – this shall be realized only at a later stage - reduce the output of agricultural produce, further pushing inflationary scenarios for commodities. Additionally, inflation is progressing at a steady rate in most countries. In the US alone, it's been the highest in the last 30 years. Europe's inflation rate is thoroughly following the US lead.

The effects of the coffee market can be seen in the below table.
We will be updating the following basic stats weekly:

 

Brazil

According to a new report by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE), more than 940 square miles of rainforest were cleared during the first three months of 2022. This is 64% more than the already horrendously high numbers last year. Since President Bolsonaro came into power back in 2019, the destruction of the world's biggest rainforest has surged as his policy-making has continuously weakened environmental protection. At the same time, torrential rains and mudslides in Rio de Janeiro have killed at least 14 people during the last few days. The potential profits made on additional grazing lands for cattle will need to be directly paid back into rebuilding infrastructure and roads in the areas affected by the floods.

In the coffee regions, the abundant rains have been very positive for restoring the coffee trees and the dried-up soils. This will surely be very beneficial for the next crop cycle. But for the upcoming harvest - the one affected by the frosts back in July 2021 – actual forecasts do not look good. The first official numbers coming from Brazil's governmental agency for agricultural supply Conab forecast the 22/23 crop with 55.7 million bags. This is 13% less production when compared to Brazil's biannual crop cycle in 20/21. When looking at the numbers with more detail, there is a netting effect from the Conilon side: the Robusta (should be rightly named Canephora) production is forecasted to be 2 million bags higher while the Arabica production is expected to be 10 million bags below the 20/21 output (38.7 million bags). On the other hand, a crop forecast from Rabobank estimates 64.5 million bags, split into 41.4 million bags of Arabica and 23.1 million bags of Conilon. These are only two of the many reports available in the market today – the ultimate truth will be seen in the export numbers during this upcoming coffee season.

The coffee farmers in the Conilon production regions are getting ready for the beginning of the harvest. Some first pickings are taking place, and more shall come towards the end of this month. The port of Santos continuously reports successful bulk shipments. This way of shipping has brought some degree of alleviation to an otherwise quite congested logistical operation.

Colombia

The country is preparing for the Presidential election on May 29. Gustavo Petro, a former M-19 left-wing guerrilla fighter, won the first voting round against his right and center rivals. Colombia is following the left-ish path of some Latin American countries such as Peru, Honduras, and Chile, which have turned away from more traditional leaders. Change is good if it doesn't develop into another Venezuela.

Some lower altitude regions have started harvesting the Mitaca (fly-crop). More activity is expected towards the end of April. Excessive rains in Huila, Tolima, and the Eje Cafetero (Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio, and parts of Valle del Cauca) are slowing down the crop progress simultaneously at two ends: farms are difficult to access due to the extreme muddy roads and then parchment doesn't dry quickly under the actual climatic conditions.

The ports of Buenaventura, Cartagena, and Santa Marta continue to be relatively slow, and vessels are overbooked. Delays are to be further expected.

 

Peru

Inflation in Peru is pushing price surcharges on gas, oil, and toll roads to a 26-year high level. Protestors clashed with police forces, and President Castillo has installed a curfew in Lima and Callao to restore calmness, but Unions across the country have called for national strikes.

The first pickings of the new crop have started in the lower altitude regions. Coffee cherries at higher altitudes parts are still in the final ripening process. Here the harvest is expected to begin towards the end of April or the first days of May.

Activities at the port were looking good. At least there is enough container availability. Who knows what the effect of the national strikes will be on the logistics; one is sure: it will not speed up the shipping process...

 

Coffee News 19-04-2022

What's going on in Central America?

General market situation:

The global commodity complex also reflects Russia's aggression to Ukraine as two major commodity-exporting nations are at war. The futures markets brought along major swings as business is becoming more and more difficult. Around the globe, farmers, millers, miners, and drillers alike are all trying to produce as much as possible to satisfy the international demand. At the same time, natural catastrophes arising from climate change and logistical bottlenecks related to Covid-lockdowns accelerate the disruption. The surroundings of Durban, one of South Africa's most important ports, were massively hit by floods and mudslides. At least 443 people have died, and hundreds lost their houses and need to rebuild damaged infrastructure. The city of Shanghai continues its strict curfew policy, and, as this significant international port is only operating at low capacities, further disruptions to global supply chains are expected.

Another week shows the coffee market's volatility bringing a market correction in New York with falling coffee prices, reaching a new two-week low. After President Putin declared peace talks as being "at a dead end," scenarios of ongoing war and destruction have triggered further inflation fears and a diminishing disposable income. Hence, some analysts foresee a drop in coffee demand.
On the other hand, prices for fertilizers are becoming more expensive, and physical availability is rare. This is expected to negatively affect coffee production as the subsequent fertilizer applications will be somewhat "thin" and very expensive if at all available.

The effects of the coffee market can be seen in the below table. These basic stats are updated weekly:

 

 

Central America

As the harvest progresses almost "in sync" among the Central American countries, there is no need for an individual listing of country news. The only exception is Costa Rica, as they have just elected a new president: Rodrigo Chaves. He is practically a newcomer to the political arena and is a trained economist who worked for almost 30 years for the World Bank.

The Central American coffee production complex entered the "Semana Santa" festivities. This will surely slow down the remaining cherry pickings in the higher altitude regions of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. On the other hand, harvesting work is complete in most low-altitude regions. The 21/22 coffee harvest is approaching its end. The production forecasts meander around the following expected volumes:

 

Research conducted by the International Trade Centre (ITC, a UN subsidiary focused on international trade and development) in The Coffee Guide, one of the most downloaded coffee publications in the world, has split-up global coffee production into three categories: Specialized, Premium, and Standard. Central American coffee production is divided into 14% of Specialized (2.0 million bags), 39% of Premium (5.5 million bags), and 47% (6.7 million bags) Standard coffee qualities.

Intermediaries (Coyotes) and exporters are piling up parchment in their warehouses, and dry mills are running at total capacity preparing coffee for export.
The situation in all major ports is pretty similar: a general lack of adequate container equipment and shipping lines postponing or canceling bookings spontaneously. Delays are to be expected.

Coffee News 25-04-2022

What's going on in East Africa?

General market situation:

On Friday, the world celebrated "Earth Day," and while looking at our blue planet and reflecting on the social and climatic challenges ahead of us, one might wonder if we shouldn't have a daily "Earth Day" instead of "just" an annual reminder...

With the current global developments, it looks as if market volatility has come to stay for long. Many different factors affect the development of prices – some of them being of a more macro-economic character while others come from a more coffee fundamental side. At the same time, an economic recession will most probably hit the European and Central Asian markets. The World Bank is forecasting a 0.9% growth slowdown for 2022.

In a meeting of the International Monetary Fund, Jerome Powell, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, announced a possible 0.5% rate increase and signaled that more aggressive rate hikes to come during this year. The world's major economies are afraid of the effects caused by inflation, and increasing interest rates is a commonly used method to fight inflationary scenarios. According to some respected economists, the European Central Bank will shortly follow this trend.

The Zero-Covid policy of the Chinese Government forces more than 40 cities into a full or partial lockdown. To put this into perspective: nearly 400 million people have restricted access to food supplies and are only partially (if at all) allowed to get outside their housing facilities. Workers have to sleep in the factories to keep production running. A serious logistic backlog is building up as activities at China's principal port of Shanghai have come to a halt. 

The international coffee prices for Arabica had a 4% upswing on Thursday. The intra-day trading range of more than 12 c/lb continues to manifest the market's extreme volatility.
With all the momentary uncertainties, ranging from Putin's invasion of Ukraine to distressed global supply chains, climate change, and Covid-related lockdowns, markets will most probably remain extremely nervous and change directions frequently.

The effects of the coffee market can be seen in the below table. These basic stats are updated weekly:

 

Ethiopia

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is completely distressing the lives of people living in Ukraine and endangering the lives of millions of people who depend on the imports of grains produced in Ukraine. One region in the world highly dependent on grain imports from Ukraine (and also from the banned aggressor Russia) are the countries in the African horn: Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, and partly Ethiopia.
On another note, the TPLF rebel forces in the northern region of Tigray and the Ethiopian Government have agreed to cease fire and allow aid deliveries to reach civilians in urgent need of food and assistance.

The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange ECX used to be the main channel through which producers of coffee were able to sell to exporters. The ECX also fulfills a regulatory function as it serves as a clearinghouse for buyers and sellers. The coffee gets delivered to ECX warehouses, and a day after the trade is done, the payment is transferred to the seller's bank account. This security mechanism is no longer in place when coffee is traded through vertically integrated supply chains. Here, exporters have their own wet mills or team up with local wet mill owners. These local middlemen are known as Akrabis. Nowadays, more and more Akrabis have become exporters themselves. The number of exporters has doubled from last season and is counting almost 2,000 of them.

Warehouses and dry mills in Addis Abeba are packed with coffee, and production is running at total capacity.
Activities at the port are running without any significant complications—some delays due to a shortage of container equipment and shipping lines canceling voyages.

Kenya

The Kenyan Government has brought along a program to upgrade coffee production and increase exports. The initiative should raise productivity at the farm level, modernize washing stations and dry mills, streamline the governance structures within cooperative societies, and update laws governing the coffee sector.

The main crop season is reaching its end as the last auction will take place in two weeks. There will be a short 30-day break before the auction of the fly crop starts.
Coffee farmers are getting ready to harvest the fly crop. It is also known as the "early crop" and will start in early May. Weather is helping as abundant sunshine allows the cherries to mature on the trees and develop the desired red color. The following weeks shall bring more rain, bringing along the much-needed humidity in the soil.

Activities at the port of Mombasa look good. No significant concerns are to be reported.

Rwanda

Good weather conditions in Rwanda's principal coffee-producing regions in the South, West (next to Lake Kivu), and North speeds up the final ripening of the cherries in the higher altitude regions.
The harvest is in full swing, and wet mills are running at full capacity preparing parchment. Abundant sunshine brings along a homogeneous drying of the washed parchment.

The border to Tanzania is open and functioning without any noteworthy delays. No significant problems are being reported at Tanzania's main port of Dar Es Salaam.

Coffee News 02-05-2022

What's going on in Asia &Pacific?

General market situation:

As Putin's invasion of Ukraine continues, we saw another week bringing volatility into the markets. UN chief Antonio Gutierrez met Vladimir Putin and other highly ranked Kreml politicians during his visit to Moscow. Just briefly after he continued his journey to Kyiv, where he met with President Selenskyj, Russian missiles stroke Ukraine's capital. It looks like more devastation, blood, and death will be inevitable before a peaceful solution to this unnecessary war can be agreed upon.

Russia has stopped delivering gas to Poland and Bulgaria, which further propelled international gas prices. Other European countries such as Italy, Austria, and Germany are under pressure as Russia only accepts payments in rubles. Such a transaction by any European company would infringe the imposed sanctions and will indeed bare legal consequences.
The USD has been strengthening compared to other leading international currencies, and at the same time, the commodity complex continues to climb the steep price ladder.
Commodities such as distillates and corn continue to rise and are approaching new all-time highs. The World Bank emphasizes the delicate situation of the global commodity market as the most significant commodity shock since the 70s could materialize rather quickly.

And the international logistic situation also continues to put pressure on supply chains. China's Zero-Covid policy is surely not making the situation any easier. Beijing and other big Chinese cities are entering partial and total lockdown as Shanghai is now entering its fourth week of full lockdown. Activities at the port of Shanghai are minimal. Containers are being re-routed to other ports creating significant congestion. Chinese Labor-Day celebrations are approaching and will last five days, surely adding to the delays.

For eleven consecutive trading days, the Arabica coffee prices have been stuck in a corridor between 230 c/lb and 215 c/lb. Within this bandwidth, the volatility is high, and prices change direction rapidly. This week we saw international coffee prices for Arabica falling more than 2%.

You can follow the principal market changes in the below table.
We update it weekly.

 

Indonesia

As a reaction to skyrocketing prices for basic food and cooking items in Indonesia, the country's government has banned palm oil export. People started to protest as they had to queue to buy cooking oil and food for a long time. 30% of the global edible-oil supply comes from Indonesia. This export ban will surely propel inflation in most consuming nations as palm oil (and also sunflower oil from Ukraine) is an essential component of many food items and beauty products alike, used daily by millions of people.

Indonesia's crop forecast for the 21/22 crop ranges between 11.5 and 11.9 million bags of coffee. The chunk of the coffee produced in Indonesia is Robusta. With an estimated 10 to 10.5 million bags, it ranks 3rd right after Vietnam (about 30 million bags) and Brazil (22 million bags). The Arabica production is estimated at 1.5 million bags. Exports are estimated at approximately 7 million bags of Arabica and Robusta combined.

Farmers are finalizing the cherry-picking of the Arabica fly crop in Northern Sumatra. And also, the Robusta harvest in Sumatra is progressing well. Parchment is being delivered to the warehouses where it is prepared for export.

Activities at the port are slow, and freight costs continue to increase. Fewer container availability and vessels spontaneously readjust their traveling plans, making bookings rather tricky.

India

The months of March and April have been the hottest since the national weather service started recording them 122 years ago. In the central parts of India, they recorded highs of 47°C. These extreme temperatures are unusual for springtime, and according to local and international scientists, they come as a consequence of global warming. This is a vicious circle as the heat ignites increasing demand for electricity (used for cooling), which brings along power shortages in many states and, consequently, an increase in fossil fuel consumption.

The 21/22 harvest has been collected, and it looks good in terms of quantity and quality so far. India produces about 5.5 and 6 million bags per year, split into 20% Arabica and 80% Robusta. The volume of washed and natural coffees can vary substantially from year to year. Whether coffee is produced as natural or washed often depends on the logistical infrastructure (is there enough drying capacity?) and the prevailing weather conditions (dry vs. wet weather), and, of course, on premiums paid locally for the washed coffees. Dry mills are running at full steam, and exporters are preparing the coffee for being shipped to consuming countries.

Activities at India's leading coffee exporting ports of Mangalore and Cochin remain a challenge. Freight rates continue on the high side, and a general lack of adequate food containers has become the "new normal". Unfortunately it looks like delays are not avoidable.

Vietnam

The harvest in the world's leading Robusta producer is complete, and farmers sell their coffee to local traders and exporters, carefully monitoring international prices. The expected production volume for the 21/22 crop ranges about 30+ million bags. Hot and warm weather affects Vietnam's central coffee-producing regions of Dak Lak, Gia Lai, Lam Dong, and Dak Nong. Some rains are expected and will be more than welcome as the soil craves water to restore its humidity.

Some exporters have experimented with bulk shipments, which proves to be a viable alternative for container bottlenecks. Port authorities in Vietnam proactively reach out to China to submit cargo clearance information on time to avoid further congestion.

Papua New Guinea

Politicians are preparing for the General Elections that will take place from June 11 through June 24, 2022. Voters will elect 111 members of the National Parliament.

The lower altitude areas have already begun with the harvest, and in the higher altitude regions around Mt. Hagen, the pickings are starting too. Weather conditions in the Eastern Highlands have slowed down the maturation process, and hence the harvest has not yet entered its full dynamics.

Activities at the port are slow and delayed as bookings are re-scheduled without any notice.

Coffee News 09-05-2022

What's going on in South America?

General market situation:

May 8 commemorates the end of WWII back in 1945. On Sunday, in all major European cities, ceremonies took place to praise peace, remember the cruelties of war, and pay respect to soldiers who died during this dark time. Seventy-seven years after the end of the Nazi regime in Germany through the allied forces, war has come back to Central Europe. Putin continues his invasion of Ukraine. Were the millions of lives lost during WWII not enough of a lesson?

China is continuing with its strict lockdown policies in Shanghai and Beijing. Inbound and export logistics continue to be a bottleneck in global supply chains. Delays and lack of containers and shipping space come as a consequence.

Jerome Powell, Chair of the US Federal Reserve, raised interest rates by 0.5%. This was the most significant increase since 2000 and is coming at a time when the US is facing the highest inflation in more than 40 years. The inflation genie has been left out of the bottle and heavily hits most global economies. The Bank of England has also raised interest rates – for the fourth consecutive time. Discussions in the European Central Bank are ongoing, and the odds are high that the Euro-zone will also increase its interest rates sooner than later. Other strong-currency nations will have to follow too. Will this get the inflation genie back into the bottle? Growing interests in a highly indebted world may bring along a global recession. JP Morgan is assessing this scenario with a 33% probability.

The coffee market reflects this volatility too. The last week saw falling prices in New York (Arabica: -5%) and London (Robusta: -1%). Notably, Friday showed a sharp price retracement marking a new 6-week low.

You can follow the principal market changes in the below table.
We update it weekly.

 

Brazil:

  • The Brazilian economy is slowing down with fears of recession and rising unemployment rates. The Russian invasion of Ukraine pushed prices for oil, gas, and other commodities into record highs. Inflation is a consequence.
  • Many coffee professionals are touring the vast coffee regions these days. Their principal aim is to get a final impression of the 2022 harvest. Most reports swing in around 62 million bags: 21.5 million bags of Conilon (aka Robusta; correctly named Canephora) and 40.5 million bags of Arabica production (32.5 mil. bags Naturals and 8 mil. bags Washed). In total numbers, Brazil is by far the most significant coffee producer globally – almost doubling the size of the second-largest producer Vietnam and five times the size of Colombia's coffee production. Despite the qualitative differences among the countries, there is a matching description for Brazil: tudo grande!
  • There was good rain in April, and now there is abundant sunshine and warm weather, which supports the cherries' maturation for the 2022 harvest.
  • The month of May usually triggers the first pickings of the Brazilian harvest. First cherries were picked in the Rondonia and Espirito Santo regions, known for their Conilon production. But the bulk of the crop is still on the tree getting its final maturation. The Arabica harvest is further maturing on the trees, and the first manual pickings were reported in the Zona da Mata region and in southern Minas Gerais. The bulk of the volume is expected towards June and July when the harvest enters its full-swing mode.
  • The port of Santos has reported some break-bulk shipments. This rather old technique enables the storage of bags loosely in the ship's hold. Despite all quality risks involved in this kind of transportation, the shipped volume increases substantially and brings alleviation to the congested ports. Nonetheless, global logistics continue to be challenging as ports in China are only partially operating and other destinations in northern Europe and the US west coast are very congested. As a consequence of the disrupted logistic flows, there is a general shortage of food containers. Delays and rising freight rates are unavoidable.

 

Colombia:

  • Inflation is also hitting hard on Colombia's economy. April brought about over 9% inflation, the highest rate seen in the last 22 years.
  • On another note, the country is preparing for its presidential elections on May 29. Gustavo Petro (leftish orientation and ex-guerrilla fighter of the M-19 rebels), Federico Gutierrez (center-right politician), and Sergio Fajardo (center-left wing) are leading the polls.
  • Wet, wet, wet... rain is the only consistent weather pattern in Colombia's main coffee regions in the last months. The harvest of the mitaca crop is progressing slower than expected as drying of parchment is becoming an issue. The effects on the quality remain to be seen. This is the second year in a row that Colombia's coffee production has been affected by the La Niña effect.
  • Activities at Buenaventura, Cartagena, and Santa Marta ports are similar to that in most other ports around the globe: there is a general lack of adequate container equipment, and shipping lines cancel bookings without previous advice. Unfortunately, there will be delays and increasing freight rates.

 

Peru:

  • President Pedro Castillo, a former union leader and school teacher, reencounters difficult and unstable times. He confronts "friendly fire" from his party as his fellow party members presented a bill to cut his presidential term from five to two years. This move is unprecedented and would imply a new election in 2023.
  • The harvest is progressing well in all lower altitude regions. First pickings are also starting in the higher altitude areas, and as we are moving towards June, the harvesting activities all over the country will be in full swing.
  • Internal transportation of coffee is quite expensive as international oil prices also affect Peru's economy. Warehouses are starting to fill with the first deliveries of parchment, and dry mills swiftly initiated their operations.
  • Export logistics run relatively smoothly as the volume is still comparatively low. It looks like there are enough containers available (for now).
Coffee News 16-05-2022

What's going on in Central America?

General market situation:

Putin's invasion of Ukraine shows how quickly the security of a sovereign nation can be jeopardized by a brutal attack from a neighboring country. Russia's aggression pushes Finland to apply for a NATO membership, and it looks like Sweden will follow soon. Putin's reaction to the decision of these traditionally neutral countries remains to be seen. He justified Russia's "military intervention" in Ukraine with an increasing threat through NATO's expansion. One thing is sure: we are far away from a peaceful and quick solution to this war in Europe.

Shanghai is entering day 50 of its total lockdown. Other 27 cities in China are also in a full- or partial lockdown situation, and Covid19 occurrences are not getting under control. The Zero-Covid strategy undoubtedly affects the country's economy. The major ports are facing substantial delays as vessels cannot unload cargo. The interwovenness of global supply chains is a fact, and hence spillover effects take place, and international logistics suffer. More logistical disruptions are likely to follow.

The NYC-rollercoaster moves on: a cold-weather front bringing potential frosts to Brazil has fired the short-term memory of investors, speculators, and coffee people alike. Recalls of July 2021, when three frosts in a row impacted Brazil's coffee-growing regions came back, and the market skyrocketed 16 c/lb in a day! What a move – precisely only after a new 6-month-low had just been established at 205,20 c/lb. We undoubtedly face a very nervous and volatile situation, and all eyes are watching the weather forecasts. It's important to point out that meteorological predictions have a short-range and tend to be inaccurate when looking over 48 hours.

You can follow the principal market changes in the below table.
We update it weekly.

 

Central America:

Inflation is also affecting the economies of Central American countries. The cost of food, gas, and oil has risen in the last months, and the war in Ukraine pushed the price of fertilizers to new highs. A primary source of income for these regions is "remesas", remittances sent by family members mainly working in the US and Canada back to their home countries. According to the World Bank, they totaled 131.000 million USD in 2021. This is a 25% increase compared to 2020. Remittances make up almost 15% of Guatemala's GDP. The other Central American countries report similar figures.
But is there a downside to people sending money back home? The main problem originates from the continuous migration of workers from Central American countries toward the northern borders of the US. That workforce will be delivering their services in Northern America and not in their own countries. Particularly in the rural areas, there is an upcoming shortage of workers. And as working conditions and remuneration are much better in the US, it does not look like this trend will revert soon. Finding pickers and workers in the agricultural sector is tricky and will surely not get any easier in the upcoming seasons.

Without holding the ultimately precise harvest numbers at hand, it's always hard to assess the output for this season, but it looks like this crop was smaller than expected. Some reports are showing a 10% (!) decrease. Coffee prices in Central America are on the very high end, and certified coffees (Fairtrade, Organic, Rainforest Alliance) are genuinely scarce.

The last weeks brought good rains in Central America, and coffee farms blossomed. Trees get covered with white flowers, and a seductive, mystical Jasmine perfume surrounds the coffee fields. Always so beautiful to experience this!

Exporters are busy covering their sales to roasters and traders alike and producing coffee for export in the dry mills.

Logistics at all major ports in Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua is complicated. There is a general lack of adequate food containers, and shipping lines are postponing shipments or canceling them without prior notice. Delays of more than 30 days are unavoidable. And adding to delays, we see consistent and juicy price increases from the freight carriers. Maersk alone has locked in a record profit thanks to a stunning 55% increase in sales during the first quarter of 2022. Other shipping lines have already reported massive gains too.

 

Coffee News 23-05-2022

What's going on in East Africa?

General market situation:


Finland and Sweden have officially applied for a NATO membership. While the USA and other nations have welcomed the application and support the initiative, Turkey is trying to slow down the process.

The global macro-economic picture looks somewhat worrisome. Despite the interest rate adjustments done by the US Federal Reserve, Bank of England, and other financial institutions, inflation continues to rise worldwide. Renowned economists, entrepreneurs, and investors all around the globe are starting to warn about potential stagflation. In such a scenario, high inflation is combined with a stagnant economy and rising unemployment. The substantial drop in stock valuations over the last weeks reflects such a prospect.

The Chinese Government has started to ease the total lockdown in Shanghai. Some citizens were allowed to shop for food in local stores. But in other cities, the lockdown situation continues. It will take some time until internal logistics and supply chains reassume their usual busy rhythm. Till then, supply chains will remain distressed.

The best description for the actual caprioles of the Arabica coffee futures market is volatility and nervousness, and they express themselves through a 20 c/lb trading range during the last week. A cold weather front pushed prices higher on Monday and Tuesday. As no frost damage materialized, the market came back lower. All eyes are nervously watching and carefully monitoring the temperature development in Brazil's coffee regions.
CONAB – the national food supply and statistics agency - has reduced the initial crop forecast by 2.3 million bags: the new estimation for crop 22/23 is 53.4 million bags. This will surely increase market concerns during the following weeks ahead.

You can follow the principal market changes in the below table.
We update it weekly.

Ethiopia

The aftermaths of the war between the Government and the TPLF rebels pushed the country towards an economic slowdown, making imports very expensive. As a consequence, Ethiopia's inflation rate reached 34.7% in April. This is the highest rate since November 2011. Particularly prices for food items and petrol have increased over proportionally. Every-day life has become extremely expensive for the majority of Ethiopians.
The past weeks brought along abundant rains in the coffee regions. Good news for the new crop 22/23! On the other hand, roads are very muddy and tedious to travel: Moving coffee from the interior to Addis Ababa becomes slow and difficult.
High coffee prices and logistical bottlenecks at the port of Djibouti have substantially slowed down trading activities. The backlog can be seen in the exporter's warehouses and dry mills in Addis Ababa, where coffee is piling up and waiting to get sold and/or processed accordingly.
The economic slowdown has reduced imports. Consequently, there is a lack of adequate food containers coming into the country. Shipping lines have reduced their schedules calling Djibouti. Delays are to be expected.

 

Kenya

Amid the Presidential Elections scheduled for August 9, presidential candidate Raila Odinga has held a courtesy visit to Ugandan President Museveni. Mr. Odinga counts on the support of Kenya's actual President Uhuru Kenyatta, and it looks very likely he will win the August elections.
Long queues build at the gas stations as prices for petrol are rapidly increasing. Inflation is also starting to affect Kenya – particularly for oil and gas.
Heavy rains in the coffee regions have restored soil humidity after a long dry and hot weather period.
The fly crop advances according to expectations. Auctions are scheduled for starting on June 21.
Delays at the port of Mombasa due to similar reasons: lack of adequate containers and shipping lines canceling the bookings.

 

Tanzania

Similarly to other Easter African countries, Tanzania also faces a rapidly increasing inflation rate. Mainly the cost of fuel is sky-rocketing.
The southern highlands around Mbeya, Mbozi, and Mbinga have seen heavy rains for the last weeks. In the lower altitude lands around Mbinga, the harvest has already started. The other regions in the south are expected to enter into harvesting modus in June.

 

Rwanda

Good weather conditions encourage an even ripening process.
The harvest is progressing well, and dry mills in Kigali are receiving the first parchment deliveries.

 

Coffee News 30-05-2022

What's going on in Asia Pacific?

General market situation:


There hasn't been any real substantial change to the cardinal global problems of climate change, pandemics, war, inflation, and disrupted supply chains. Apart from the World Economic Forum in Davos forecasting some further uncertain times ahead there has been little-to-none change in the macroeconomic environment since last week.

Coffee fundamentals also remain almost unchanged. All eyes are carefully observing possible temperature drops in Brazil's coffee regions. It looks as if Central America is sold out. 

There are minimal offers of coffee available, and prices are pretty impressive: we see historic high differentials in Central America. 

Excessive rains in Colombia have destroyed the road to the port of Buenaventura. The only constant ahead continues to be the volatility of the markets, pushing the Arabica market up over 6% on a weekly comparison. 

 You can follow the principal market changes in the below table.

We update it weekly.

Indonesia

The Indonesian Government has eased the export ban on cooking oil after a month. The internal supply situation has improved, making cooking oil more affordable again.
The fly-crop Arabica harvest is now completed in northern Sumatra. In the southern part of the island, the focus is on harvesting Robusta beans. Weather conditions have been quite good these days, enabling farmers to collect the last rounds of cherries quickly. Indonesia's estimated production of 11.5 million bags can be split into 15% Arabica and 85% Robusta.
Indonesia has a growing internal consumption of coffee, and its mainly consumed as a 3in1 ready-to-drink sachet (instant coffee, instant milk, and sugar). But also, some specialty coffee shops appear in Indonesia's most prominent cities.

 

India

Inflation and the war in Ukraine are the main topics of discussion in India amidst historic high temperatures in Central India.
It looks like farmers have completed selling their coffee, and there are only a few offers of new crop in the market. The Robusta harvest was pretty in line with expectations (about 4.5 million bags), while the Arabica is smaller than forecast (1.1 million bags).
It's pretty hard to find adequate food containers, and the ports are pretty congested. Coffee has only been moved slowly, and delays and increasing freight rates are unavoidable.

 

Vietnam

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has set an ambitious target for the upcoing three years to refresh the coffee trees on 107,000 hectares in Vietnam's most prominent coffee-growing regions in the highlands around the city of Buon Ma Thuot. A mix of replanting, grafting, and renovating shall bring the expected result. The local banks are ready to support farmers with credit lines to back this endeavor. With newly engineered planting materials, farmers and MARD alike expect a 1.5x to 2x production boost. Using the multiples and applying them to the actual crop size (30+ million bags) would mean that Vietnam could produce between 45 and 60 million bags of coffee once the tree refreshment program gets executed.
As Vietnam is a significant importer of fertilizers from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, they are seeing massive price increases.
Weather conditions are starting to get wet as the monsoon season approaches.
Activities at the port continue to be slow and tedious. Freight rates continue on the very high end, and bookings are canceled without notice. Delays are part of the daily reality.

 

PNG

A tragic car accident took the life of Sam Basil, PNG's Deputy Prime Minister.
The weather was very good bringing along abundant sunshine. The harvest is progressing well - crop expectations for this season range around 800 to 900,000 bags.
Some parts in the Eastern Highlands have problems with the Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) beattle. This insect drills into the cherry and eats into the coffee bean.
Parchment is starting to arrive at the dry mills, and operations are beginning to produce coffee for export.

 

Coffee News 07-06-2022

What's going on in South-America?

General market situation:

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has passed its 100 days now. While Putin is claiming 20% of Ukraine, there are no signs of interest for a negotiated end to the war in sight.
This horrible act of violence will be getting on for a long time.

Last week, JPMorgan's CEO Jamie Dimon commented that what he initially saw as "storm clouds" on the economic horizon is now morphing into a "hurricane" due to twin threats of the war in Ukraine and the US Federal Reserve pulling its stimulus. The exact dimension of the storm is still unclear. Adding to this, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and other ventures, has announced to have a "super bad feeling" about the economy. Looks like macro-economic indicators are turning more and more bearish.

What is apparently looking like a relatively calm week, with a 1.3% week-on-week price increase, has brought along a trading amplitude of almost 20 c/lb.

You can follow the principal market changes in the below table. We update it weekly.

 

Brazil

Ex-President Lula da Silva leads the opinion polls for Brazil's next presidential candidacy – far ahead of Jair Bolsonaro. General elections will take place on October 2, 2022.
These days all eyes are on weather forecasts from Brazil. The July frosts of last year are all too fresh in everybody's minds. While frost fears are still on the plate, a new side dish is being served: rainfall in April and May was lower than the previous year's average, pushing rumors of drought. But the good news is that the humidity in the soils remains very good, substantially limiting the risk of dryness.
Different agencies and statisticians are re-adjusting their crop forecasts repeatedly, but numbers are not really changing dramatically. The latest crop forecast from the Rabobank states 64.5 million bags (41.4 million bags Arabica and 23.1 million bags Robusta).
The harvest has started in the Conilon regions of Brazil and is also moving ahead in the most prominent Arabica production regions: Minas Gerais, Sul de Minas, Cerrado, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Parana.
Some farmers actually reconsider renewing their sustainability certifications as the increasing compliance requirements of the new certification standards make their work exceedingly bureaucratic. Additionally, the exceptionally high farm-gate prices do not motivate farmers to go the extra mile to comply with those standards.
Activities at the port have gotten much better compared to the beginning of this year, but they are still far from pre-Covid times.

 

Colombia

The presidential election took place on May 29, but no candidate could secure the required 50%+ majority. The two candidates with the highest votes are Gustavo Petro, left-wing candidate and former mayor of Bogota D.C., and Rodolfo Hernández Suárez, center-right candidate, businessman and former mayor of Bucaramanga. The final runoff between the two candidates will take place on June 19.
The National Coffee Federation FNC has released a report reducing its forecast for the 21/22 harvest by 13,8%. Instead of the planned 14.5 million bags, they are now considering a total production of 12 to 12.5 million bags. This is in line with the upcoming concerns due to the excessive rains over the last months. The weather conditions will stay rainy and humid with little sunshine well into the second half of the year.
The excessive rains are slowing down the mitaca harvest. Parchment drying has become an issue as there is insufficient sunshine, and mechanical drying is becoming truly expensive. This latter process requires "cisco" (parchment husks), but as there is not enough coffee going through the dry mills, there is a general shortage of cisco.
Landslides have affected different roads within Colombia and further slowed down the internal coffee logistics. Even the road to the port of Buenaventura has been demolished by a mudslide. No trucks can pass the road; they can neither unload nor pick up cargo.
More delays are expected with all of the above and considering the usual chaos at the ports due to the lack of adequate food containers and shipping lines canceling bookings.

 

Peru

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the coffee production in Peru for the 2022 harvest will be around 4.03 million bags.
Scattered rains and abundant sunshine along all significant coffee-producing regions.
The lower altitude production regions are moving towards the harvest's end, and parchment deliveries to the dry mills have picked up momentum accordingly. Those smallholder farms located in the higher parts of the country have also started with the harvest. So far, volumes and qualities are looking very good.
As we are still at the beginning of the exporting season, there are enough containers available, and shipping lines can keep bookings so far. Freight prices continue to be very high.

 

Coffee News 13-06-2022

What's going on in Central-America?

General market situation:

China's 'Zero-Covid' policy is not achieving its goal. Only two weeks after the strict Covid lockdown regulations were loosened in Shanghai, 15 of the 16 city districts are mass testing again as some sparks of the virus have reappeared. Tests on more than 23 million people started during the weekend. Six city districts will be locked down for the duration of the tests. The other parts of the city will be under strict surveillance, and in case of rising Covid numbers, a further lockdown will be implemented.

Global supply chains will remain under extreme pressure as the port situation in Shanghai is not really making significant progress. Several ports in northern Europe and the US-West coast are slow and unable to cope with the logistical burdens.

Christine Lagarde, head of the European Central Bank, has (finally) recognized the rising inflation in the Euro-Zone and is ready to increase interest rates by 0.25% as of July. Another is scheduled for September. On the other side of the Atlantic, Jerome Powell, Chair of the US Federal Reserve, will announce the next interest rate increase on Wednesday. It is still unclear if it will be 0.50 or 0.75%. As Europe's and the USA's inflation is increasing rapidly, action is urgently required.

With the actual global developments, finding encouraging signals in the economic outlook is challenging. Investors continue to exit their investments and are preparing for a storm ahead. Falling stock valuations are only one symptom of this bearish market environment.

This is also being reflected in the pricing of global commodities. 

Both Arabica (KCN22) and Robusta (RMN22) prices have come slightly lower, although the situation in most coffee-producing countries remains difficult. Differentials remain very firm, and some origins are unable (or unwilling) to offer. Despite all efforts, the global logistical situation remains a true challenge. Warehouses in Central America and other coffee-producing countries are filled with coffee waiting to be exported. It's hard to find adequate containers for packaging the coffee and vessels with enough available space for bookings. It feels like a catch-22 ... nothing for the faint-hearted!

You can follow the principal market changes in the below table. We update it weekly.

 

Costa Rica

It looks like this small country is always ahead of the curve. While other coffee producers in Central America are still striving to find enough coffee to serve existing commitments, in Costa Rica, producers are already focusing on the upcoming harvest. Excellent weather conditions undermine an encouraging development of the new crop 22/23. Nonetheless, with the hurricane season still ahead, Ticos hope Mother Nature will be gentle on them.
Production estimates for the actual harvest range between 1.4 and 1.45 million bags.
The logistical bottlenecks at the port continue to be incumbent and tedious. The major constraint is finding adequate food containers.

 

Guatemala

Guatemala's beautiful former capital city of Antigua is surrounded by three volcanoes: Acatenango, Agua, and Fuego. The latter registered some explosions, and the ashes reached up to 40km of distance.
The weather has brought along abundant rains. Farmers are working on their fields and applying fertilizers when weather conditions allow. This is an expensive exercise as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been heavily pushing fertilizer prices.
This season is expected to produce between 3.3 and 3.6 million bags.
Guatemalan ports are no exception to the logistical mess. Delays are to be expected. 

 

Honduras

The biggest Central American coffee producer corrects its expected production. Based on smaller than expected export numbers, new estimations are signaling an almost 15% reduction. But it is essential to remember that exports are also slower than in previous years due to logistical bottlenecks at the ports. Hence, as our last crop forecast of 5 million bags already included a smaller crop expectation, we leave it unchanged.
The internal coffee market looks pretty dried up as little coffee is traded. Prices are very high – particularly for certified qualities (Fairtrade, Organic, and RFA).
Port activities are slow. A general shortage of food containers and shipping lines are canceling bookings without any previous notice.

 

Nicaragua

The latest production estimates in Nicaragua indicate a relatively good season, with almost 2.6 million bags of coffee produced during the 21/22 season.
Exporters are working hard to prepare the coffees for export, and logistics are not making it easier for them. Same situation as in all Central American ports. Delays and rising freight prices are unfortunately unavoidable.

 

 

 

 

We Are Hiring!

We Are Hiring – Marketing + Communications Manager (m/w/d)

Area: Marketing & Communications
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Start: asap

About List + Beisler:

L+B is a green coffee importing company headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, and founded in 1901. We import coffee from all over the world to all over the world. L+B has been a market leader in the specialty green coffee trading segment for over 120 years. We have worked with coffee roasters and coffee growers around the world - connecting them, achieving ongoing relationships, and working towards mutually beneficial goals since the very beginning. We are looking for a passionate new colleague to tell the stories of our coffees. 

Job Description:

  • Strategic development of communication and marketing channels.
  • Plan, create and manage marketing campaigns on all channels: newsletter, social media, our website, and print media (PR and ads).
  • Create and develop compelling content (written / graphical / video) for newsletters, product information sheets, jute bag designs, training, blogs, etc.
  • Constantly develop and maintain our websites and social media channels to drive traffic to company channels.
  • Manage partnerships with third-party graphic designers, web designers, and videographers to create unique and engaging content.
  • Develop and implement new concepts for events and trade fairs.
  • Monitor and analyze our marketing activities.

Skills and Qualifications

  • You have at least 5 years of relevant professional experience in a comparable position in a company or a marketing agency.
  • You have a business degree from a competent university with a strong focus on marketing/digital marketing.
  • You have strong communication skills in English and German with a refined sense of language, and you enjoy copywriting.
  • You take the lead with a hands-on mentality, taking ownership of your projects.
  • You pay attention to details and like to be creative.
  • Working in a team is key to you – you are ready to explain, discuss and convince non-experts in your field to reach goals.
  • You know your tools: CMS programs (e.g. TYPO3), Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Premiere), SEO, SEA, Google Analytics, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.

What We Offer

  • A small and highly motivated team where you can truly leave your footprint.
  • A very international working environment with offices in Germany, the USA, and Australia.
  • Coffee knowledge of more than 120 years; you will undoubtedly develop your coffee knowledge and your coffee skills.
  • An office with a broad view over Hamburg's historic "Speicherstadt" and flexible working times.
  • Finest specialty coffee for your mug all day long.

 

Please send your application to jobs@list-beisler.de. We look forward to meeting you!

Coffee News 20-06-2022

What's going on in East-Africa?

General market situation:

We are already counting four months at war in the middle of Europe, yet sadly, there is no peace in sight. Russia's invasion is not only destroying the lives of millions of Ukrainians but also pushing other countries into famine. Ukraine grain stocks can't be exported, and farmers can't work the land under the actual circumstances.

The US Federal Reserve increased interest rates by 0.75% (the most significant since 1994), and the European Central Bank announced the first (overdue) increase of 0.25% for July, and additional steps are scheduled for September. It's no surprise to see further interest rate hikes as inflation is still untamed and is reaching 40-year-highs.
The Feds' and Central Banks' intention is to cause an economic slowdown, even at the risk of sliding into a global recession. Unfortunately, there are not many alternatives visible for now.

International logistics continue to be a burden for all global trade. Freight costs continue to rise, and it looks like containers are piling up on the wrong side: there is a continuous shortage in the exporting countries, and logistical operators cannot return empty containers in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
Although framed in a bearish macro-economic environment, there are still abundant bullish factors that could push prices for coffee higher. For now, Arabica coffee prices closed almost unchanged on a week-on-week comparison. Today the market in New York remains closed due to a public holiday (Juneteenth).

You can follow the principal market changes in the below table. We update it weekly.

 

Ethiopia

Just at the time when Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced peace talks after an intensive war in the Tigray region with the TPLF rebels, other separatist rebels further in Ethiopia's west, called Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and Gambela Liberation Front, are claiming sovereignty.
The rainy season has started in Addis and in the coffee-producing regions. Reasonable amounts of rain have been registered. This is happening timely as the coffee cherries need water to continue their maturation on the trees.
As a side effect, roads become very muddy and slippery. Coffee transportation from the interior to Addis Ababa becomes a true driving challenge.
Warehouses in Addis are packed with coffee, and there is a good explanation for this: a general shortage of adequate food containers. As a result, coffee is ready to be moved to the port but can't be containerized. This originates a backlog at exporter's warehouses. Then, once exporters get hold of containers, finding space on a vessel is the next challenge that needs to be tackled. This frustrating reality brings along delays.

 

Kenya

Presidential candidates are running hot for the upcoming election. Though the actual campaign is getting truly dirty with misinformation and fake news on the politicians' menus. The two leading candidates, Raila Odinga and William Ruto, are competing fiercely. The final decision shall take place on August 9.
Coffee production in Kenya has been substantially decreasing over time. Back in the nineties, the country produced more than 1.5 million bags. Today – mainly due to land usage changing from agriculture to construction - Kenya only produces about 800.000 bags of coffee. Low productivity and changing climatic conditions add to this sad story. The Government has tried several times to stimulate the sector and motivate coffee farming in other regions of Kenya, but until now, without any substantial success.
The pickings of the fly crop have begun, and the first auction was postponed by a week to June 28 as the coffee volume is still low. Cool and wet weather conditions are slowing down the parchment drying process.

 

Tanzania

The Arabica harvest started in the southern highlands of Tanzania. The coffee highlands around Mbeya, Mbinga, and Mbozi have started picking cherries and processing them. The small washing stations – CPUs or Central Pulping Units – have started their operations.
On another note, the Robusta (Canephora) harvest around Bukoba (near Lake Victoria) is progressing well too.

 

Rwanda

Cherry volume is coming down as we move toward the harvest's end. But sustained rains across the coffee production regions are slowing down the drying process for parchment. Nonetheless, there is a continuous flow of coffee from the interior to Kigali's dry mills.
Exporters are preparing coffees for export, and increasing fuel prices are further pushing transportation costs from Kigali to Dar Es Salaam.

 

 

 

Coffee News 27-06-2022

What's going on in Asia-Pacific?

General market situation:

The G7 group (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the USA) is meeting in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany. This forum of the seven strongest economic nations is an excellent opportunity for their presidents to discuss and synchronize their political agendas. As threats to humanity are coming from Russia's aggression and war in Ukraine, inflation and global economic turmoil, climate change, world famine, and disrupted supply chains, an urgent need for new international policies and development measures are urgently needed to enable future mutual security.

While a truly international community of more than 11,000 coffee enthusiasts was gathering at a fantastic "World of Coffee" event in Milan, the markets in New York (Arabica) and London (Robusta) continued their trading activities. On a week-to-week comparison, the Arabica prices ended only a tad lower (-1,8%) but remain volatile, with a trading range of almost 15 c/lb, and meandering in a 220 c/lb to 240 c/lb corridor. All eyes remain fixed on:
The development of the Brazilian harvest.
On potential climatic threats coming from frost or drought.
The situation of certified stocks in Europe and the US.
This will likely remain until August when the frost season is expected to end.

You can follow the principal market changes in the below table. We update it weekly.

 

Indonesia

The harvest in the islands of Sulawesi, Bali, and Java is progressing well, while abundant rains are coming at the right time for the cherry maturation process in Sumatra.
Activities at the port continue to be slow, and the main difficulty is finding adequate container material.

 

India

A heat wave has affected India's central and northern regions, setting a new highest-ever temperature record in India's Capital City of Delhi: 49°C. This is the hottest temperature registration in 81 years. The hot temperatures are coming along with a severe risk of drought, directly affecting crops and, as a consequence, food security.
But now, the hot period has been interrupted with massive monsoon rains flooding the lands and destroying houses and infrastructure. Weather forecasts from the Indian Meteorological Department predicted more heavy rains for the following weeks.
The actual monsoon winds are hot and humid and traditionally used to prepare the "Monsooned Malabar" coffee.
Dry mills are busy preparing coffee for export.
Same situation as in most ports of the world: there is a chronic container shortage, and vessels are overbooked. Delays and rolling of bookings are part of the daily agenda of the hard-working logistics teams.

 

Papua New Guinea

The candidates campaigning for President and aspiring to become a Member of Parliament are in their hottest phase: it's election time. From July 2 till July 22 a set of elections will take place, ultimately determining the new President and the Members of Parliament.
Most local coffee traders and exporters are trying to buy as much coffee as they can before the beginning of the elections. There is always a risk of social unrest over this period; therefore, they want to make sure to have the coffee in their warehouses and not somewhere on the streets.
Proper amounts of parchment is reaching the dry mills, and production of export qualities is well underway.
Logistics at the port are similar to the previously mentioned. Unfortunately, there will be delays also here.

 

 

 

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