Business & Economy

Ethiopia targets 45pc increase in 2015/16 exports

ETHIOPIA has set an ambitious coffee export target for the 2015/16 season (October-September) as it seeks to boost earnings from its key commodity export. The ministry of trade aims to increase coffee exports to 260,000 tonnes, up 45 percent from the previous season, supported by government loans to exporters and improved marketing channels.
The 2015/16 season started strongly, despite rains in the Yirgacheffe and Sidamo regions that delayed the drying of parchment. Coffee exports surged to 686,000 60-kg bags in December, up 19.7 percent from 573,000 bags in the same period last year.
The US department of agriculture (USDA) expects coffee exports to reach a record 211,200 tonnes (3.52mn bags) in 2015/16. While short of the government target, this would be a fifth consecutive annual rise. However, financing of the coffee sector will be affected by the impact of the country’s devastating drought on the budget, with spending in relief aid already reaching $200 million. Domestic consumption, which accounts for around half of total output, could also undermine exports, compounded by weak international coffee prices that incentivise sales on the domestic market.

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