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What’s been happening in the world of coffee?

At DR Wakefield, we like to take a regular look at the global market to see how the countries we source our high-quality beans from are performing, to make sure our roasters are informed about exactly what sort of market their coffee is coming from.

Our report dated September 15th to 19th includes information on the coffee trading activity in Brazil, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Vietnam – just five of the many countries we have a strong relationship with.

Brazil performed particularly well during the week, with its estimated harvest rising significantly due to prevalent shipping of Robusta beans. In May 2014, the country exported approximately 12.33 million bags of this variety of coffee, but this figure is expected to increase to over 13 million by the end of the harvest season.

Taking all varieties into account, Brazil yielded in the region of 45.14 million bags – each weighing 60 kg – of coffee this season, indicating an increase from the predicted volume of 44.57 million.

In Vietnam, around 97,800 tonnes of Robusta was exported during August, with Vietnam Customs stating this was an increase of 10.3 per cent from the previous month, beating the volumes predicted by the government.

However, in Kenya, the past few weeks have arguably not been quite as successful, as the maximum price of grade AA beans fell by five per cent at auction, while concerns continue to circulate regarding the upcoming harvest.

Elsewhere in the East African bean basket, Uganda shipped slightly less coffee in August than it did in July, with 268,033 bought by overseas traders, compared to the previous month's 318,338. The Uganda Coffee Development Authority has not provided a reason for this drop, but it is believed by some that droughts may have affected the country's usual stellar Robusta crop.

Finally, in Tanzania, the price of Arabica beans dropped at auctions in the week leading up to September 15th, but Robusta costs rose, making it a fairly balanced seven days for the country.