It is that time of the year, where we start getting field reports from our suppliers for the coming season.
Kiremt (Summer in Amharic) is known for its heavy rainfalls. Technically the rainy season starts June to September, though in recent years, climate change has had a substantial effect on the length of the rainy season. Last year we witnessed one of the longest in Ethiopian history, stating as early as May and ending in December/January. Average temperatures in the country were also much lower than average.
This year, as per the weather forecast by the National Meteorological Agency, most areas are getting normal to above normal rainfall. In western Ethiopia, heavy rainfall has led to flooding in the lowlands of the Gambella region as well as landslides in Wollega. In southern Ethiopia, south SNNPR and West Guji have seen flooding in May, July and August but the weather is clearing up towards the end of the month. Other regions and zones we work with have so far had a normal amount of rainfall.
So far, we are getting reports that the conditions have been better than last year. Some say close to optimal. In our experience, this would mean that the harvest would start earlier ie November, quality samples would arrive towards the end of January and prices would generally be lower if pre-contracted. That said, we have written a blog post about the new minimum export price system enforced by the government earlier this year, hence any price indication going forward would be highly speculative.