Russia is one of the world’s largest coffee consumers, but the invasion of Ukraine has significantly disrupted the bean supply.
According to sources at an industry conference, some traders are diverting shipments or otherwise avoiding deals with Russia.
Contrary to oil, diamonds, or gold, the actions are not prompted by sanctions or embargoes on coffee, but appear to be motivated by concerns about payment and shipping, Reuters reported.
According to sources at last week’s SCA Coffee Expo, the news service was also concerned about the safety of ships in the Black Sea.
Another conference source told Reuters that some companies are settling transactions with cryptocurrencies, while another was bartering coffee beans for much-needed fertilisers.
Brazilian traders added Russia to the list of high-risk countries that require prepayment for new deals in March, according to Reuters. Syria, Lebanon, and Iran are also included on the list.
“There are too many uncertainties about their ability to pay at the moment, so new deals must be paid in full up front,” coffee broker Thomas Raad told the wire service at the time.
In March, a Brazilian coffee association expressed concern that some of its members had not been paid for Russian shipments and expressed concern that Maersk, CMA CGM, and MSC would not process container ships in Russia.