Vietnam Lockdown Adds Pressure To Global Coffee Supply Chain Shortage
Savour those morning brews, because a lockdown in Vietnam’s largest city is putting a strain on the world’s supply of coffee.
The South East Asian country has seen more than 435,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 10,749 deaths. Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known as Saigon, still has strict travel restrictions in place in order to curb the spread of the Delta variant.
It’s a prime location for exporting robusta, a bitter-tasting bean often used in instant coffee and some espresso blends. However, exporters can’t get their stock out of the country due to the rules, putting further pressure on the coffee industry as a result of the pandemic.
Demand for robusta has seen wholesale prices soar by around 50% this year alone, BBC News reports. Other suppliers are struggling to, with ports seeing less shipments than usual from Vietnam because of the restrictions, causing a shortage of shipping containers and rising freight costs.
The Vietnam Coffee-Cocoa Association and other trade organisations have since asked the government to loosen restrictions in a bid to resume more regular exports and prevent further delays and unnecessary costs.
Fortunately, Vietnam’s transport minister instructed regional authorities in and around Ho Chi Minh to make responsible changes and help with exporters’ hurdles in transporting goods, such as coffee, out of the country. The city is integral to the global shipping network between China and Europe.
Over in Brazil, its supply of premium arabica coffee beans has been threatened by some of the worst frosts there since 1994, as well as drought. Farmers have warned the damage could take three years to fully remedy, with the possibility of planting new trees.
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