US Coffee importer Caravela, which sources green coffee beans for clients in the US, UK, Australia and Europe recently informed clients recently that shipments of Colombian coffee are subject to delays of up to five weeks.
The delay appears to be related to the anti-government protests happening in the country, which are disrupting in-country logistics. The government is using the military to clear blockades, but the effectiveness has been limited. Just yesterday, four people died in protests and the military is being deployed in heavier numbers.
Caravela reported that the blockades impacted the movement of beans from their warehouses to the dry mill and that it was in dialogue with officials to see if there is a viable resolution.
Colombia is an important coffee producer, second only to Brazil who recently tried to renegotiate its price contracts to capitalise on the increasing price. As the world’s second-largest exporter of coffee, supply disruption in the country couldn’t come at a worse time for buyers with Brazil’s poor crop and parts of South America experiencing a reduced harvest.
In total, the local coffee federation estimated the export of 500,000 60kg bags has already been delayed. Caravela meanwhile has been offering clients alternatives from another six countries. It’s unclear what the impact on the market and price of Arabica will be once the backlog comes back to the market, but a drop in prices could be on the cards as a sudden surge in supply is taken into account.