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Thursday, 28 April 2011

Peru crop looking good...

Peru with its new crop harvest starting is looking forward to a larger new crop of fine washed Arabica coffee that shall be in excess of 3.7 million bags. With these coffees coming to the market for the mid year 2011 spell of slower exports from Central America and Colombia. So despite all the concern over supply shortage, there is in reality sufficient coffee supply in play for the present.

The New York fully washed Arabica certified stocks registered a further 2,075 bags decrease yesterday, to register these stocks at 1,575,600 bags. The number of bags pending grading for the exchange meanwhile registered a modest 640 bags increase, to register these pending grading coffee stocks at 51,227 bags.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Columbian harvest news

The Colombian National Coffee Federation have reported that in the last eight years the land under coffee in the country had increased by 6%. Much of this increase has been related to new districts in the Southern coffee regions. This is aside from the past few years of an extensive support program to assist farmers to replant older farms with new higher yielding and disease resistant coffee trees. This program is projected to see the national coffee crop that prior to the past few years of weather related problems had seen annual crops of between 11 to 12 million bags, rise to over 15 million bags by 2015. Thus with the additional input of good prices over the past two years and these replanting programs and new farmers steadily coming into the industry, there is confidence that this ambitious target shall be reached.

It is perhaps more significant in terms of the fact that the Colombian crop that fell below 8 million bags in the previous coffee year and for this coffee year shall struggle to reach 10 million bags, has nevertheless seen the consumer markets learn to live with the reduced supply of Colombian coffees. Which would indicate that once the steady recovery and development of the Colombian coffee crop starts to come into play and despite the projected growth of World consumption (although in South Africa consumption has actually decreased over the last 3 years), that the combination of rising supply from Colombia and some other South and Central American producers, shall guarantee an adequate supply of fine washed Arabica coffees in the future.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Pondering Quality Coffee in South Africa

Being South African based and promoting a niche product as we at Quaffee do: namely specialty grade coffee that is highland and shade grown, presents some interesting challenges. The one that has been taking up some of our time over the last month; is what to do about the slowly decreasing supply of the higher grade of coffees we have come to know and love.

There are a handful of importers of green bean (3 from our count, perhaps 4 if you include a facilitator) that even consider importing the higher graded specialty coffees and our most reliable source has over the last 6 months shut down for religious reasons.

This has led us to investigate importing ourselves and adding our hat to the already befuddled green bean import markets in South Africa.

And what we have found is that price is in fact a major consideration when considering the choice of green bean available out there.

The coffee producer we have grown to enjoy coffees from can only offer us a small amount of high quality coffees, and then only at prices that are nearly triple we paid for them about a year ago.

And that price is double what we pay for the traditional specialty coffees we currently have access to from the 2 big importers.

So what to do. Will our discerning clients (about 45% of our currently active clients) pay almost double for coffees they could purchase only months before at half the price we will need to sell them for?

This is a quandary that we face, and need to make a decision on in the next 2 months before the crop is harvested?

A solution is to ask our existing clients if they would help is with this choice.

Watch this space and we will tell you what happens...