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Monday, March 26, 2012

The export of coffee from Ethiopia has declined by 38% in the first eight months of the financial year, as compared to the same period last, according to data from players in the sector.
The Ethiopia Commodity Exchange has consequently eliminated the 5% +/- price range for coffee intended to regulate against price fluctuations on the international market last week.
The range will not be applicable on the trading floor of  Exchange until the price of coffee stabilizes on the international market said Dr. Eleni Z. Gebremedhin, Chief Executive of the ECX.
It is estimated that the annual coffee production of Ethiopia for this harvest year will be 8,312,000 bags or 498,720 tons according to forecasts made by the International Coffee Organization. 
Ethiopia expects to export 50% of its coffee production amounting to an estimated 249.5 tons this year. Coffee exports in the first eight months of the fiscal year, however have only added up to 75,000 tons.
The decrease in coffee shipments has translated to a decrease in the foreign currency earned (411.8 million US dollars) during the period as compared to the same period last fiscal year (447 million US dollars).
International coffee prices have been falling following a forecast of a bumper coffee crop in Brazil estimated at 54 million bags.
The falling prices are forcing Ethiopian suppliers to sell coffee stocks at lower prices than they had paid for when they made their purchases from farmers with the expectation of growing coffee prices according to sources.
It is to be remembered that the ECX had lowered its minimum range to allow for the fluctuations on the international market resulting in a short lived relief for exporters before re-instituting the 5 +/- range.