Another successful harvest season in East Africa is wrapping up, with truly excellent quality delivered from our registered farmer network. In this brief post, we provide an update across our two main origins, Tanzania and Uganda, plus a forecast for Uganda's secondary season.
Generally, we continue seeing very good quality and a solid positive trend on volume growth across the region. Vanillin content, on average, is expected between 2.2-2.5% on a dry matter basis, and if the previous season is any indication, many batches are likely to be "givree", otherwise known as "frosted" due to the look of the vanillin crystals covering the pods.
The dynamic situation in Madagascar continues to push many large buyers into East Africa, creating a powerful opportunity for farmers in this region to capitalise on shifting demand. Many new entrants, mostly inexperienced in-country, are buying green vanilla and attempting first curing operations, or buying from middlemen, to the detriment of traceability and the spirit of sharing value with farmers.
Tanzania 2022 Season Report (June/July and extending into September) Drought conditions affected several regions in early 2022, resulting in smaller yields per vine, yet the overall total national green harvest rose to around 150MT. The reach of our network spreads across 8 geographies in this country and each area has shown remarkable amounts of new volume coming online, partly helped by a semblance of price stability in the past two seasons. The quality of Tanzanian beans continues to delight our customers and our order books are fairly full for the 2022 season crop. Looking forward to 2023, we anticipate higher production coupled with higher demand as this origin continues to grow in terms of quality recognition, a sustainable sourcing model, traceability, and farmer price transparency fully in place.
Uganda 2022 Season Update (June/July) Thanks to the strong, local presence of our field team in Uganda, and to our proprietary curing facilities in Uganda, we were able to source and process excellent high quality beans, with most batches having a vanillin content above 2% on dry matter basis. We estimate the total national green harvest was around 800MT this season. As Ugandan origin vanilla is better known in the market, we are currently experiencing strong levels of interest from current and new customers, with nearly full allocation for the 2022 June crop. However, we are able to continue supplying to new customers thanks to the two vanilla seasons Uganda has each year.
Uganda 2022 Secondary Season Forecast (Dec 2022 into Jan 2023) With prices remaining stable for Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla markets, we are anticipating another season of strong demand in the Ugandan market where the locally sourced and cured vanilla has a very similar quality profile to the Madagascar sourced beans. This secondary season has slightly lower volumes, estimated around 600MT green, and thus we are expecting some reduction in available volumes compared to the June/July 2022 season. The timing of the secondary season positions Uganda to compete very well with Madagascar's VRAC season. Given the unprecedented demand on the market seen in June/July, we would strongly recommend our customers to secure their volumes early so as to mitigate any last-minute price or quality pressures.