Brazil’s coffee exports fall 27% as shipping hurdles increase

Roberto Samora and Marcelo Teixeira are the authors of this piece.

Green coffee exports from Brazil, the world’s largest producer, plummeted 27 percent in August from a year earlier to 2.33 million 60-kg bags as issues finding containers and space on ships grew, according to the exporters’ association Cecafe.

According to Cecafe’s monthly report, about 3.5 million bags of coffee were unable to be transported on schedule this year owing to transportation issues, costing the country’s coffee exporting industry around $500 million.

The volume of coffee exported by Brazilian exporters in August was the lowest in at least a year.

“This operational problem resulted in a significant increase in freight charges, cancellations of recurring bookings, and increasing difficulties in making new bookings for containers or vessel space,” said Cecafe president Nicolas Rueda.

As the situation worsened, the group said that 40 percent to 50 percent of all coffee cargos were delayed at ports in the last three months, compared to 10 percent to 20 percent in the first three months of the year.

Brazil is responsible for over 40% of global coffee exports. Delays might cause problems for some of the company’s biggest customers in the United States and Europe.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain failures and shortages swept the globe, with an increase in online orders and transportation system interruptions as workers became ill or elected to leave their employment. Everything is in short supply.

Containers have been in higher demand in places like the United States, and have lingered there for longer than usual, generating a shortage on routes like South America to the United States or Asia to Europe.

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