As the South East Asian country’s largest metropolis remains in lockdown, fears about global coffee supply have grown.
After a spike in instances of the Delta form of the coronavirus, the exporting center of Ho Chi Minh has been placed under stringent travel restrictions.
Vietnam is a significant producer of robusta coffee, a bitter bean used in instant coffee and several espresso mixes.
So far this year, wholesale robusta bean prices have climbed by nearly 50%.
Due to the siege of Ho Chi Minh City in the south-east, Vietnam’s exporters are having difficulty transporting products, especially coffee beans, to ports for distribution across the world.
The travel restrictions add to an already difficult situation for exporters, who are already dealing with a severe scarcity of shipping containers and rising freight prices.
The city and its ports play an important role in the worldwide maritime network that connects China and Europe.
The Vietnam Coffee-Cocoa Association and other trade groups have urged the government to relax the limitations in order to avoid future delays in shipments and associated expenses.
Last week, Vietnam’s transport minister responded to the concerns by instructing provincial officials in the country’s south to take steps to reduce needless barriers to commodities transit, especially coffee.
The problems that Vietnamese coffee growers are facing are only the latest in a long line of challenges that have plagued the sector.
Drought and frost have harmed the harvests of Brazil, the world’s largest supplier of quality arabica coffee beans.
The cost of unroasted coffee beans has risen to its highest level in almost seven years as a result of the worst frosts in Brazil since 1994.
According to accounts, the frost damage was severe enough that some coffee producers may have to transplant trees, which may take up to three years to recover.