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December harvest news: A pandemic of high prices

An overview of the 2021-2022 season in Ethiopia and Central America

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The price of specialty coffee is going to be higher in 2022 all across Central America and Ethiopia, which are in the middle of the 2021-2022 harvest. This increase is affecting mostly lots below 85 points but it will brush up against micro-lots too because producers' costs are also going up.

This is an off-year for coffee in Ethiopia and volumes will be reduced despite the good weather. If last year prices for cherry were going from 16 to 27 ETB (Ethiopian Birr), now our partners are seeing prices from 32 to 40 ETB, the highest ever paid. Inflation is high, there is more competition and less money available to give washing stations the loans they need to buy cherry.

In Central America, producers are uneasy. Their prices are going up and, with the exception of Costa Rica, they are finding most buyers to be reticent and slow. Multinational traders are aggressively buying coffee to fulfill contracts and local businesses struggle to compete. 

There is a mix of hope and fear. Hope that roasters will change their buying behavior to focus on relationships and fear that the reluctance to pay higher prices will compromise quality in the future. 

To learn more about what producers are saying, download the report today! 

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