As April comes to a close, Mercanta reflects on the past month. Restrictions lifted in the UK and exciting times for new origins in addition to the recently rediscovered coffee species, Coffea stenophylla.
The month also brought with it the rise in the C-Market with its unknown causes that could be attributed to poor weather in Brazil, low crop yields or logistical delays. Here at Mercanta, we are still battling various hurdles with logistics – delays, changes in routing, and low availability of containers. Our team are working diligently to adapt and track each order to ensure the coffee arrives safely.
Some noteworthy features have been the excellent outturn of the Brazil 2020 harvest. Overall, Stephen Hurst notes that “the 2020 Brazil harvest has yielded the best overall quality in years in the opinion of the hundreds of lots of specialty Brazil that we land every year.” We still have shipments inbound to Singapore, USA, and Dubai but the UK and Hamburg have completed the arrivals season, and from start to finish we saw such an excellent overall quality register.
Additionally, Guatemala is experiencing some hardships as yields are lower perhaps due to lasting effects from Hurricane Iota and Eta. Labour is scarce due to border restrictions preventing pickers traveling from other countries and government mandates discouraging people to leave home to work. With less pickers, crop fell to the ground and yields were significantly lower.
May is typically the time of year we have a seasonal shipment surge, but in 2021 it seems particularly evident. For Mercanta to have 20-25 containers afloat at any given time is a lot for us. Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Kenya to a multiplicity of destinations = 3 USA destinations, UK, add Hamburg, Dubai, Singapore, and increasing number of what we call ‘’direct to client’’ FCL shipments (which are often more like half FCLs). Hurst mentions “this is the essence of my job, hundreds of coffee lines to tens of places, all with a worsening logistical solution.”
Thank you for your support this month. We look forward to May, warmer weather, and new coffee! Mercanta will keep on coffee hunting and please let us know if you have any questions.