Friday, November 27, 2009

coffee quintal and container revisited

As I continue to learn how this industry works, I wanted to correct my first post about 'what is a quintal?'.

When discussing green coffee, farmers, exporters and importers all talk about the price of 100lbs of coffee en oro, ready to be exported and roasted. 1 quintal (qq) is 100lbs. Coffee is exported in burlap bags and certain regions export in different bag weights: Colombia 70kg, Dominican Republic 60kg, East Africa and Indonesia 50kg (I think). The bags are all piled into a sealed container, put on a large boat, and shipped to consuming countries. Containers range from 320, 250, and 200 bags of 60kg. Moving coffee is expensive, so people try to decrease the price per pound of transport through volume.

In my experience in the DR, we talk about qq's as the measure of a production of a farm and buying and selling unit. The qq in the DR is a little different because the internal quintal is 110lbs, while the most of the world buys green coffee discuss a 100lb quintal. The weight changes on the coffee because of the level of water lost in drying in the coffee.

Here is the break down:
Humid Parchment Coffee - 100kg or 220lbs (low quality pictured)
Dry Parchment Coffee - 63kg or 139lbs (below the picture with my hand)
Green Coffee - 45kg or 100lbs

If one buys 100kg of wet parchment it should yield 45kg of green coffee. That is one of the maddening things about coffee processing. You start with a really heavy product and it yields about half the weight and size.

Those large bags behind the kids each have 1.2qq of coffee in dry parchment.

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