The January crop was in the range between normal and good, as expected. However, the farmers started too early with the harvest of the new crop. Some of them even started with the harvest in December before Christmas. They also stored the green beans under their beds which can have a huge impact on the quality of the beans and the vanillin content later.
During our visit in the second week of January we figured that about 60% or even more of the supplied green beans were not fully matured. The sorting process was very time-consuming and had to be done 2 or 3 times for each lot. In the past it seems that these farms had a market for these low-quality unripe vanilla beans. However, it is not possible to find buyers for large quantities of this crop and the farmers might suffer a bigger loss on unsold beans. This also has an impact on the next crop due to the fact, that the farmers also harvested the 3-month-old beans which would have been matured by summertime.
Increasing price pressure may cause lower prices for these green beans due to the current demand from Europe and US being lower than expected.
For the matured beans we currently see stable prices due to the general market situation. Depending on the situation in Madagascar, the export price and general circumstances we might see a quick change in demand for volumes from Uganda though which then has an impact on higher prices.
We secured certain volumes of organic and conventional vanilla beans for our customers. So please contact for any interest and demand.