Monday, December 17, 2007



Ethiopia---What’s up with these prices?

The initial offers on new crop Ethiopians are sky high compared to last year. There is not yet a lot of coffee flowing into the market, but there are a lot of buyers on the sidelines. Sellers in Ethiopia are looking at how prices soared at the end of last year as a guide.
Unlike last year, growing and harvesting conditions have been close to ideal. Quality is reported to be very good, and quantities available are also said to be good. Time will tell what price the market will support, but at the moment, if you want to buy from the first shipments of new crop coffee, it is going to cost more than you are used to.

Auction prices have firmed up considerably and we are still a month or so away from the prime coffee buying season. The auctions are closed for the next few weeks. Royal has a good selection of auction lots on the spot and arriving in January. We also have Fair Trade arriving 1/3/08.
This is the time to buy this coffee. We have conventional and organic sailing shortly. The pre-shipment samples have looked good. This is a versatile coffee well suited to adding body and giving a fresh- tasting lift early in the year.

Prices are attempting to ride the coat tails of Kenya and Ethiopian. Although they are a little higher than we are accustomed, Rwanda prices look like a deal in comparison.

We have a limited supply of very nice coffee from another origin that has a small window for top quality. The Ruvuma is usually the best. Tanzania, at this time of the year, provides a good opportunity for roasters who are adept at marketing coffees that are “in season”.
R. Fulmer

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