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For the second half of the year we will have coffees from Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Uganda, Rwanda, and Indonesia. Samples will start arriving in July/August, and coffees will land from Sept/Oct onwards.

Coffees will be slightly more expensive in the coming months, regardless of quality or who you buy from. Plus there are a lot of different challenges in origin countries that might impact when your coffee arrives. But don’t panic, some basic planning can help you avoid any supply problems. The earlier you talk to us about your upcoming needs, the easier it is for us to find good options that deliver the best quality for the price. Reach out to your sales person or email us at coffee@nordicapproach.no

Current challenges in the coffee industry

Many parts of the world, especially the coffee growing countries, continue to battle Covid-19. The pandemic plus a giant ship stuck in the Suez Canal for six days have disrupted the shipping industry, leading to container shortages and shipping delays. Additionally Colombia has faced the longest and most disruptive mass protest in recent history. The C-Price is at an historic high due to several factors including a lower than expected export volume from Brazil plus transport issues in Colombia. (Why does the C-market impact prices in the specialty sector? Joanne explains.)

How does this affect your green coffee buying? 

It’s early and there will always be coffees in our Belgium warehouse ready to dispatch. However, planning ahead is the best way to avoid falling short on greens. Here is a quick overview of our origins for fall and winter. 

Quick links: 

Or simply read on for the full update.

 

Colombia

The regions where we buy coffee in Colombia are harvesting right now, slightly later than usual. The protests which practically shut down transport in the country have eased. Last week the main protest organising committee agreed to temporarily suspend the strike due to a sudden spike in cases of Covid-19. However small groups continue to protest and mount roadblocks, and it will be some time before transport returns to normal. You can read more about the situation in Colombia and the context for the unrest in Joanne’s recent blog post. 

We have pre-contracted some special preps to shield producers from the risk these coffees pose, and we are planning additional containers. Fortunately for producers, harvests are later than usual across the country, and Nariño and Huila will continue their harvests for several months. This gives them some time and hopefully transport is flowing as usual by the time they are ready to sell. There should be great coffees to cup in August, September and onwards. 

Colombia Prices

The internal price for Colombian is set by the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC) who guarantees to buy coffee from producers any day of the year at one of more than 500 buying stations around the country. The price they pay is based on the C-price, and factors in the value of the Colombian Peso against the USD, plus a quality differential that Colombian coffee receives on the international market. Currently the FNC price for standard export quality coffee is 1.4 million COP per carga (125kg of parchment). This is higher than the price for basic specialty coffee last year. If this price can be maintained it is great news for the farmers, but it will mean a slight increase in prices for Colombian micro-lots this year. You can expect to pay around $1 USD/kg more for landed spot coffees.

Colombia samples, shipping and arrivals

Antioquia

Antioquia is in its mitaca harvest and we have a limited selection of naturals from Juan Saldarriaga in the pipeline. 

  • Samples: early July 
  • Shipping: Late July, August 
  • Arrival in Belgium: September.

Nariño

We have contracted two containers from Nariño which will include Recolectores, El Desvelado, Fruta Madura, and some smaller micro-lots. We’ll also have good volumes of naturals including Bomba de Fruta. 

  • Samples: July – September
  • Shipping: September
  • Arrival in Belgium: October/November 

Tolima

We have booked a container of certified organic community blends plus some 30-40 bag single farmer lots. 

  • Samples: August/September, 
  • Shipping: September
  • Arrival in Belgium: October
Price list outside a bodega in Colombia in 2016.
Price list outside a bodega in Colombia in 2016. The current standard price is over 1.4 million COP per carga (125kg of parchment). Photo by Jake Green for the Drink My Sweat photo documentary project: www.bebermisudor.com.
 


Brazil 

Overall volumes in Brazil are lower and exports have dropped 20% compared to this time last year. A drought in parts of the country led to a drop in commercial volumes, and a shortage of containers is impacting exports. These are two big factors driving up the C-price. That said, most producers where we work in Minas Gerais and Sul de Minas are fine. Several factors are working to protect their volumes including the local climate, their bi-annual high volume cycle, plus the way they manage their farms with pruning and other techniques. Things are looking good with a lot of quality cherries on the trees, so we’re expecting some exciting coffees this year. 

Brazil samples, shipping and arrivals

  • Samples – blends: July/August
  • Samples – micro-lots: September
  • Shipping: First containers August, remaining containers October/November
  • Arrival in Belgium: From October – December

Brazil Prices 

Expect to pay more for Brazils this year. Exact prices are hard to predict, but the situation will be the same for everyone in the industry.  Last year the norm for coffees locally was 400 – 600 BRL/60 kg bag of high-commercial bica (unsorted green coffee). Now the prices are at or above 1000 BRL for the same quality. The Real is also stronger against the USD. However it’s still early in the season, and the first quality pickings are just now hitting the table. We will have to wait and see what the screen sizes are to fully understand how prices will be impacted. However given our Brazil selection offers incredible quality for the price, we predict our Brazil coffees this year will still be a great deal. 

 

 


Peru

Peru has been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the highest death rate per capita in the world. Fortunately our partners in Cajamarca report that the region has been spared the worst. They have access to pickers for the upcoming harvest and logistics are currently unaffected.

They are just starting to harvest in some of the higher altitudes where we work. In other places they won’t start before July and the harvest will continue until October. Quality looks better than last year, and coffees are cupping very well considering how early it is. We have pre-contracted good amounts of coffees already, which gives us priority. 

Peru Prices

Last year the standard pricing for parchment from the farmers of commercial to high commercial qualities was around 380 – 420 PEN/quintal. Right now similar qualities are earning prices above 700 PEN/quintal.

The Sol has weakened against the USD which helps lower export prices. They might be slightly up, but of all the South American origins in harvest, we expect prices in Peru will increase the least.

Peru samples, shipping and arrivals

  • Samples: July – September
  • Shipping: August/September
  • Arrival in Belgium: October/November
 

Uganda

This is an origin in the making, which means it’s a little less predictable but the coffees have so much potential that it is worth the effort. We are working on a few projects we think have great long term potential, but volumes are limited for now. The season is over in the region where we have focused our attention. It will start again September and run until May. Stay tuned. 

Uganda Pricing

The current arrivals and next upcoming shipments are really good value and less affected by the C-price rally than other origins. 

Uganda samples, shipping and arrivals

We have a shipment arriving now, and another container to be shipped in August. After that it will be a pause until late fall. 

 

Rwanda

We will have two containers of Rwandans from the two long-standing partners Gitesi and Mahembe. We have been working with these suppliers since the beginning of Nordic Approach (almost a decade now). Both washing stations have recently begun producing naturals which will make up about 35% of these two containers.

Rwanda pricing

The crop was relatively small this year due to limited rain in the maturation period. This has driven cherry prices up. However, as we have always paid solid premiums for quality, our coffees are less affected by the general price increase, meaning you can expect to pay about the same as last year. 

Rwanda samples, shipping and arrivals

  • Samples: July/August
  • Shipping: August/September
  • Arrival in Belgium: Late September
 

Indonesia

This crop looks very promising with flavour, volumes, and cherry quality all on track. The coffees are tasting even better compared to last year.  

We have two containers planned from Frinsa, mainly special preps using the different fermentation and drying methods we have tried out with Wildan & Co over the last few years. We’ll also have 80 – 90 bags of classic complex washed coffees. Plus our project with the Kirinci Coop continues and we are planning about 150 bags of naturals with them. 

Indonesia Pricing

We pre-contracted the coffees at a similar price point as last year but we will likely pay a little more to compensate for higher than expected cherry prices . This won’t significantly affect our sales price so expect to pay the same as last year.  

Indonesia samples, shipping and arrivals

  • Samples: July/August
  • Shipping: August/September
  • Arrival in Belgium: September/October

Your menu for the second half of the year

If you need to plan ahead and you’re uncertain where your volumes will come from, reach out to your sales person or contact us at coffee@nordicapproach.no. We can help you find the coffees you need. 


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