The Bennetts Monthly June '20
All things Bennetts & Coffee ...
WELCOME TO JUNE!
Wow, we are nearly at the half way mark of this year! Time sure has flown…
Across the many coffee origins, cherries are developing per usual. Reports from around the globe say that the weather for the 20/21 crop has been somewhat favourable. While harvest starts in various locations over the coming weeks, much attention has been turned to the upcoming Brazilian harvest which started in some regions at the end of last month. The key question that keeps cropping up, is how will Covid-19 affect supply (in terms of harvesting, milling and shipping) and to what extent will it affect global demand in the short to medium term?
Looking elsewhere in Africa and Central America, initial reports warned of a shortage of labour, and that lockdown was thought to put a strain on the picking workforce due to boarder closures. As it turns out, the harvest is not as big an issue as expected – mostly likely due to the lack of alternative work available in nearby urban areas and the increase in unemployment.
We continue to keep an eye on our global suppliers, and will keep you updated here and via our Instagram page.
Barring a quick peek above 110 US cents/lb, the New York Arabica futures contract traded sideways for much of the month of May, before plummeting during the last few sessions of the month to settle at 96 US cents/lb.
Overall, nothing much has changed with regards to the fundamentals (i.e. demand and supply) of this market. When it comes to supply all eyes are as ever on Brazil, as what occurs in the world’s largest Arabica producer continues to have a strong bearing on the coffee market… even during a pandemic. Harvest has been progressing in earnest in Brazil over the past few weeks, and both volume and quality have so far been meeting expectations.
The combination of an expected bumper crop and a record low exchange rate between the Brazil Real and the US Dollar make for an extremely bearish scenario when it comes to international pricing. This is because Brazilian farmers, who already have lower costs of production than other countries due to the scale of their operations, ultimately need to be paid less US Dollars to cover these costs and thus be profitable.
On the demand side of things, a massive drop in global out-of-home coffee consumption (including but not limited to cafes, restaurants and office blocks) has thus far not been met with an equal or greater increase of at-home usage. The gradual easing of Covid-19 restrictions around the world however, may help reverse this trend over coming weeks, but we will need to be wary of second waves and flare ups that could trigger returns to tighter restrictions over coming months.
A WORD FROM THE CUPPING ROOM
Coffees are still landing daily at Bennetts and this keeps the cupping room busy. The new social distant cupping protocol is not quite as fun as cupping was pre-Covid-19, this might just be part of the ‘new normal’.
Last week we cupped some excellent new offerings that we are adding to our range. From the La Bastilla Farm in the Jinotega region of Nicaragua we will be shipping in two special lots. Both Hibrido H3 / Caturra varietals, the ‘Blueberry Candy’ and ‘Pineapple Candy’ specialties have complex acidity and fruity flavours that are unique to their processing methods. These small volume microlots are due in late August.
Also, new to our range is the SHG from Finca Monte Sion. Located on the Apaneca mountain range in El Salvador, the family owned business dates back a number of generations. This shade grown coffee is produced using the family’s ‘cultural methods’ which relates to the use of naturally organically produced fertilises and plant extracts rather than man made chemicals. This lot is due in early September and the cup profile is expected to be creamy caramel and toffee with a juicy body and fruity grape acidity. Please contact your account manager for more information.
We have opted for a conservative collection of specialty microlots this year. However, we could not ignore our favourites. Coming in throughout the year we will have our standard selection of Ethiopian Grade 1 Washed and Natural microlots, followed by an array of Costa Rican specialties such as Tirra Estate and Las Lajas farm.
A little later in the year specially selected and processed lots from Kelagur Heights in India including the HDT X Geisha and Whisky Barrel Matured Arabica. In between these, we will have some delicious Natural Processed Guatemalan, Kenyan and Indonesian coffees landing, which are sure to suit anyone looking for unique singles. Keep an eye on our newsletter and social media for more information.
Have a great June,
The Bennetts Team