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Ethiopia Sees Rise in Coffee Export Despite COVID-19

Ethiopia has seen a rise in coffee export despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association disclosed. In the past nine months, Ethiopia has collected some $561 million from its export of Coffee Arabica.

Gizat Worku, General Manager of Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association, speaking to ENA, said "unanticipated growth" in coffee export earnings has been exhibited in spite of the suspected impediment coronavirus has been expected to bring about on global trade activities. 

“Even if the accelerated spread of [the] COVID-19 pandemic has brought about shock on international trade activities, this has not affected our coffee export. There is no reduction [in] revenue even during the last two or three months,” Mr. Gizat explained.

Ethiopia's supply of Coffee Arabica to countries such as Germany, Japan, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and the USA is proceeding "without any obstruction", the general manager said.

However, the export of specialty coffee, which accounts for 20 percent of Ethiopia's coffee export, has suffered a significant blow, Mr. Gizat said.

“Some 15 to 20 percent our coffee export is specialty coffee, far more expensive than the other coffee commodities. It has been suffering [a] major loss due to [the] lockdown of cafeterias and restaurants across the world,” he elaborated.    

But still, the general manager of Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association expressed concerns that extended lockdown due to coronavirus in Ethiopia beyond is likely to have an overall negative impact on the sales performance of coffee and its productivity.

“We don’t know what will happen after one or two months here in Ethiopia or around the world, as the virus is unpredictable. If COVID-19 related restrictions stay until August or September, this will severely affect not only our coffee export but also its productivity” the general manager explained. Consequently, he called on for coordinated efforts among stakeholders, especially those in the supply chain, transportation, transit, and custom activities in port areas.

Source: ENA