Ethiopia has secured more than $1.1 billion from coffee exports in the first 11 months of the current 2022/23 fiscal year despite a drop in volume, according to the governing body of the sector.
The figure is almost the same as the amount the sector generated during a similar period last year, said Adugna Debela, General Director of Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority or ECTA, speaking to ENA news agency.
About $1.15 billion has been secured from 110,000 tons of coffee export during the 11 months period, per the Authority. This trend put the target to ship 360,000 tons of coffee and secure $2 billion revenue during the 2022/23FY, which ends this month, beyond reach.
The director general, however, remains hopeful for the sector to repeat last year’s record making performance in terms of revenue. “By the end of June, we hope that the nation will achieve a similar amount of export revenue as last year,” Adugna told ENA.
Ethiopia, for the first time in its history, exported 300,000 metric tons of coffee valued at $1.4 billion to the global market last year. The achievement was made when the price of Arabica coffee in the global market enjoyed well above $2 per pound for most of 2022.
This year however, Ethiopia’s attempts to make yet another record earnings off the commodity was hampered by various challenges including a drop in demand from buying nations facing economic problems, driving the price down by 30%.
Although the situation caused export volume to drop, Adugna said it has also made the country leverage its specialty coffee to withstand the price fluctuation.
According to the ECTA, the share of the specialty coffee in Ethiopia’s export so far this year is 70 percent. “We are offering coffee that can withstand the price volatility of global coffee,” Adugna said. “This fiscal year the price of the global coffee market has decreased but the price of Ethiopian coffee has increased due to the increase in quality.”
This strategy will remain to be key in devising the export plan for the next fiscal year, the director-general said, along with expanding to export destinations to new markets.
The major destinations for the commodity often are Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, and the Unted States, despite the sector seeing new countries like China ranking among the top 10 buyers for Ethiopian coffee.
Ethiopia – Africa’s largest exporter of coffee Arabica – relies on earnings from the crop as a major source of foreign exchange. The country also consumes half of what it produces.