Burundian coffee exporters fear going bankrupt

In a meeting that Burundian coffee exporters held on November 03, they said the fall in the price of coffee at the international market is one of the causes of problems they are currently faced with.

Unroasted Burundian coffee

Unroasted Burundian coffee

Burundian coffee exporters say they fear going bankrupt. They say one of the reasons is the decrease in coffee price at the international market. The fall was caused by the increased coffee production in Latin America precisely in Brazil, said Jean de Dieu Mutabazi, Managing Director of Coffee Regulatory Authority-ARFIC.

Burundian coffee exporters say this is one among other problems that they are faced with.

Laurent Nkurikiye, a representative of an association of private exporters COASA says they also have other local problems among which, high communal taxes. “The price of coffee has been reduced at the international market and communal taxes have highly increased. A tax imposed on a kilo of unroasted coffee used to be BIF 6, 5 but currently it is BIF 70”

Nkurikiye also says the price (BIF 500 per kg of unroasted coffee) at which they bought a kilo from producers has not changed while it has decreased at the international market.

Nkurikiye fears that this situation may have after-effects on the next crop season. “Bank interests are increasing. Exporters may not be able to pay back bank debts”, he says adding that this may have consequences on the following crop season.

In their meeting, exporters focused on the strategies to avoid bankruptcy. Partners like the national bank (BRB), the Burundi revenue authority (OBR), ARFIC and exporters themselves were asked to put in a great deal of effort and facilitate the delivery within the agreed time so as to boost customer’s confidence. Burundian exporters were also advised to find various customers.

Only 6048 tons of coffee were exported out of 16,000 they have in stock as reported by the Managing Director of Coffee Regulatory Authority -ARFIC.