30 May 2011

PNG coffee exporter feels constraints with price boost

3:02 pm on 30 May 2011

A small coffee exporter in Papua New Guinea says soaring prices are making it a struggle to buy enough coffee to keep operating.

Prices have almost doubled this year due to poor weather conditions in some other coffee growing countries.

Henry Ame, the general manager of Coffee Connections, which primarily exports Fair Trade and organic coffee, says international demand for the product is high.

But he says it's difficult to buy coffee at the higher prices as the cashflow in the country is low, and banks are reluctant to lend small exporters money because of the volatility of the coffee market.

"If the prices are still high like this it will affect our business very much because of not enough cash in the accounts to buy coffee. Until when we sell on the new prices coffee that would bring in more money to replenish the accounts, then we should be okay, but at the moment we are just hanging in there just to keep our business going."

Henry Ame says he hopes by August or September they'll have enough money coming in from sales to continue.