Bottlenecks for coffee in Brazilian ports

Coffee traders have been finding it difficult to find space on vessels leaving Brazilian ports, reports Reuters. There is a shortage of available containers or space in vessels.

Brazil’s currency, the real, has fallen in value by nearly half this year in the face of the government’s  laissez-faire attitude towards the Covid-19 pandemic. That resulted in a significant increase in exports. However, imports dropped sharply. That in turn led to an imbalance in container location, which has led to delays.

Citing shipping industry consultancy Datamar, Reuters reported an imbalance of nearly 80,000 boxes in Brazil in August, with around 251,000 containers leaving the country and only 172,000 arriving.

MSC and Maersk are reported fully booked for weeks to months in Brazil. Merchants are saying that it is not possible at the moment to export Brazilian coffee for prompt shipment. “I sold coffee to a client in Spain and I’m still waiting for MSC to make containers available for the shipment,” said Nelson Salvaterra, a partner at Brazilian coffee exporter Coffee Selection.

Maersk said that it was working to improve container availability. Julian Thomas, general manager for Maersk East Coast South America, said that “it is clear that the coffee sector is entering into the peak season. It is highly important that producers provide the proper visibility on when to move stocks in advance”, adding that there was no more room for shipments in October.