Customs authorities have prohibited tourists from taking the country's primary export crop out of the country
Ethiopian authorities have temporarily prohibited airline passengers from taking domestically produced coffee out of the country, the Russian embassy in Addis Ababa announced on Monday.
The embassy advised air travelers to consider this information when planning trips to avoid "unpleasant situations" at Ethiopian airports.
"In connection with the introduction of a new export order by the customs authorities of Ethiopia, Ethiopian coffee export by air passengers is temporarily prohibited in any form and quantity," the embassy said in a statement.
The embassy did not elaborate on the details of the new coffee export ban nor the reasoning behind it. Analysts warn, however, that the decision may have significant implications for the global coffee market and could spark a surge in coffee prices.
According to the London-based International Coffee Organization, Ethiopia is the largest Arabica coffee producer among African nations and ranks fifth globally in coffee production after Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, and Indonesia. Over a quarter of Ethiopians live off the coffee trade, generating up to 30% of the country's foreign exchange earnings.
According to the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority (ECTA), the country exported 240,000 tons of coffee worth $1.34 billion to the international market last year. Ethiopian coffee exports amounted to 27,000 tons worth $140 million in August alone.
Ethiopia's major coffee buyers are the US, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Belgium, and the UAE. So far this year, the volume of coffee exports has jumped 18% in annual terms.
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