Mercon Coffee Group, one of the biggest coffee exporting operations on the planet, has filed for bankruptcy. The Netherlands-based trader of both commodity and specialty coffees with offices on four different continents cites an “exceptionally challenging operating environment” as the cause for their shuttering.

As reported by Reuters, a confluence of issues over the years has resulted in Mercon’s ultimate undoing. In a letter to their clients from the CEO, the company cites many of the issues familiar to those in the industry: pandemic-related logistics problems, unpredictable weather like frost and drought in Brazil, unstable pricing, and rising interest rates. This left the company in a precarious financial situation, with the nail in the coffin coming when their lenders—Dutch bank Rabobank in particular, according to one unnamed broker—chose “not to extend credit agreements, resulting in extremely tight working capital conditions.”

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Per bankruptcy filings, Mercon’s global debt is in the $360 million range.

The announcement comes shortly after the closure of CISA Exportadora, a Mercon subsidiary that was the largest coffee exporter in all of Nicaragua. Per Reuters, Mercon states they will continue to operate under bankruptcy protection “ensure a seamless process concerning open contracts” and will still ship out coffees to buyers.

How Mercon’s bankruptcy will ultimately impact producers is not yet known. But it does not portend well for the coffee industry when one of the largest exporters in the world can no longer navigate through the challenging climate.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.









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