If it’s not one thing, it’s another for Brazilian coffee producers. If it’s not heat then it’s unexpected frost or wholesale crop changes to more resilient species thanks to climate change. Coffee growers from the world’s largest producing country are beset by challenges at seemingly every turn, and now there’s a new one: there aren’t enough shipping containers to export their crops.
As reported by Reuters, the exporting woes in the month of August are the result of shipping containers as well as space on freighters in the last weeks of the month. This has caused exports for the month to drop to 2.33 million bags, a 27% decrease in coffee leaving the country relative to the same time last year, and it is causing significant financial damages for producers.
According to the Council of Coffee Exporters of Brazil (Cecafé), the total loss due to shipping clocks in around $500 million. They also note that there are currently 3.5 million bags of coffee waiting to be exported but were unable to do so because of the shipping shortages.
The bright side, if one can so callously call it as much, is that the continued struggles of Brazilian coffee producers have contributed to the price of commodity coffee holding steadily above $1.80 for over a month now; the last time the price was higher than it is now was at the beginning of 2014. This of course is no consolation to the producers in Brazil, who cannot capitalize on the market uptick they are responsible for.