Many growers and cooperatives have been using premiums, Fair Trade and otherwise to reinvest into sustainable farming operations, and in some instances creating arabica nurseries and groves of alternative cash crops like avocados and fruits to offset the losses of exactly this type of situation. Still, reports on the ground indicate that rains knocked down a significant portion cherries, and elevated humidity coefficients, particularly at high altitudes have hamstrung normal sun drying operations, which in turn has led to further losses due to molding and spoiling.
We are securing as much Sumatra as we can get our hands on. All around stocks are low as warehouses are quickly selling whatever remains. This is the new reality. Sumatra lovers can expect to pay significantly higher premiums throughout 2018 up until the markets are able to receive updated reports indicating a reversal of current trends. Spring harvests due to ship in April/May are estimated to be as much as 80% below their normal volume; even the best estimates indicate a roughly 50% decline. On the upside, this would still be better than the numbers from last fall, but the trend overall points to, bare minimum a short term downtrend from where we’re sitting.