Coffee Export Generates Over $835mln in Nine Months

ADDIS ABABA – More than 835 million US dollars has been secured from the coffee export during the first nine months of the financial year ending in June, according to the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority (ECTA).

The Coffee sector supports the livelihoods of more than a quarter of Ethiopians and generates up to 30 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

In the past nine months, the sector brought in $835.23 million from 174, 596 tons of beans shipped to the global market, ECTA’s Deputy Director Shafi Oumer told the EPA.

According to the Deputy Director, the performance has shown an improvement as compared to the same months of the past two years.

Global headwinds that hit the demand in coffee importing nations also put the run record breaking export performance of the bean to halt last year.

Yet, the country secured its second top annual earning – $1.3 billion – from 240,000 tons of coffee shipped to the international market.

Shafi mentioned the recent reforms in the coffee sector that cut the middle man out of the export chain and allow farmers to supply their coffee directly to importers as one of the contributing factors for the improving performance.

This year, the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority has set an ambitious $1.73 billion export earning target.

It, however, faces several challenges stemming from increasing supply of coffee growing countries to the global market that drive coffee prices down as well as recent issues affecting ports along the Red Sea shipping route.

Per EPA report, authorities are refocusing their efforts on boosting the export share of Ethiopian specialty coffees, diversifying markets and shipments involving the use of road routes.

These steps are resulting in positive outcomes.

Deputy director Shafi said new importing countries have entered the top ten Ethiopian coffee destinations – a rank traditionally dominated by European countries.

China and Sudan have been the seventh and eight biggest importers of Ethiopian coffee, respectively, in the past nine months. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was ranked ninth.