MILAN – The world’s coffee industry is undergoing the risk of a major disruption in the supply chain because of the coronavirus. Honduras, the world’s fifth largest exporter, has been forced to stop for 15 days in the middle due to new measures for the containment and management of COVID-19. The same is happening in Peru.
In India, shipments of coffee are desperately waiting for an administration stamp to leave the port of Bangalore.
Containers still blocked in China are missing, boats cancel stopovers in Le Havre and do not deliver coffee in due time.
This has prompted the large roasters that supply large retailers to be a month ahead of their bean purchases.
Will this short-term fear for a disruption in the supply chain compensate for the collapse in out-of-home coffee consumption, since bars, restaurants and hotels have closed? Not sure. Arabica prices have already fallen after a strong rebound since late February.
What is certain is that the entire coffee industry must adapt hourly to incessant disturbances.
The great fear for the coming months is that Brazil, which will enter the harvest, possibly the largest in its history, will lack containers, or be faced with a major health crisis, since no preventive measure has been taken by the government of Jair Bolsonaro.