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Ho Chi Minh lockdown impacts global coffee supplies



Stock photo by Julia Dryagina for Flickr

Vietnam’s lockdown of its largest city and exporting hub, Ho Chi Minh, has resulted in global concerns about coffee supplies as the country is a major producer of robusta, a bean known for its bitter taste which is often used in instant coffee. The southern city under strict travel restrictions following an uptick of cases involving the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Robusta beans have already faced issues this year as the price of wholesale robusta beans has increased by about 50% so far. Now, Ho Chi Minh’s lockdown is causing  problems for Vietnam exporters as they struggle to transport goods such as coffee beans to other ports throughout the world. The exporters had previously encountered a shortage of shipping containers and rising freight costs.

The city and its ports are an integral part of the global shipping network that spans the globe from China all the way to Europe. The problem has led the Vietnam Coffee-Cocoa Association, as well as other organisations, to ask Vietnam’s government to ease restrictions to cut down on future delays in shipments and other costs.

Vietnam’s transport minister responded to the problem last week and ordered regional authorities in southern Vietnam to take steps to alleviate unnecessary burdens on the transport of goods, such as coffee. Globally, coffee had also suffered in Brazil, which is the world’s largest producer of premium arabica beans. The country’s beans suffered due to drought and frosts.



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