Stringent travel restrictions enforced in Vietnam’s second-largest grower to stop the rising spread of the infectious delta strain of the coronavirus have caused a further delay for world coffee supplies.
Because of a spike in virus infections, the government has put the exporting hub of Ho Chi Minh under lockdown, and severe movement limitations have been imposed in some major producing areas of the Central Highlands.
According to dealers and suppliers, exporters are having difficulty transporting beans to ports for shipping. This is on top of a slew of other logistical issues, including a critical scarcity of containers and skyrocketing freight charges.
The Vietnam Coffee-Cocoa Association, for example, has petitioned the government to lift the restrictions, which they claim cause delays, raise costs, and put shippers at danger of having to reimburse purchasers for late deliveries.
In response, Transport Minister Nguyen Van The this week instructed authorities in the country’s south to do everything necessary to make the transportation of agriculture products like coffee and rice as simple as possible. He advised local governments to eliminate all needless procedures and paperwork.
Coffee prices have been soaring globally as supply threats from South America to Asia have grown. Crops in top grower Brazil, which supplies the premium arabica variety, were destroyed by drought and frost this year, adding to the widespread logistics problems in Vietnam and Indonesia.