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Suez Canal Blockage: Your favourite instant coffee is at risk

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Your supply of instant coffee can get disrupted soon. Thanks to the big traffic jam in Suez Canal.

The giant cargo ship that is blocking Suez Canal since March 23 is one of the world’s most important maritime chokepoints which is upsetting the whole world’s economical and shipping aspects.

The vessel, known as Ever Given, carrying cargo between Asia and Europe isn’t just restraining shipments of crude oil and liquefied natural gas, but also containers of Robusta coffee– the kind used in instant coffee mixes like Nescafe. This occurrence has not only impacted Europe as it imports through the Suez, but countries globally have been facing issues as more than 200 other ships of that route have been stuck as well. Hence, shipping has been delayed and losses due to the blockage are going up in numbers.

According to The Mint report, Coffee roasters around the continent had already been struggling to get supplies from Vietnam, which is the world’s largest Robusta producer due to a shortage of containers.

But the recent incident has caused another headache since, the vessels that import the coffee beans from East Africa and Asia to Europe, flow through the Suez. According to authorities, removing the 200,000-ton vessel could take days or even weeks.

Unlike roasters in the U.S., European coffee makers don’t prefer using robust from Brazil due to the taste of their products. As a result, some roasters on the continent recently turned to East Africa to bridge the shortfall of beans from Vietnam, buying up supplies from places like Uganda or milder-tasting arabica beans from the region.

But those beans also travel via the Suez. Traders who have already stored coffee beans in European warehouses are now demanding quite a lumpsum in the physical market.

Text by: Ipsita Ghosh, IBTN9


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