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Roasters Buying Surplus as U.S. Dock Workers Threaten Strike

International Longshoremen's Association flagSome U.S. coffee roasters are rushing to buy beans before Sept. 30 as the threat of a union strike looms for port workers along the Eastern Seabord.

The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), which represents dock workers from Main to Texas, and the U.S. Maritime Alliance, which represents shipping companies and ports, have recently agreed to resume bargaining negotiations, but with two weeks until the current union contract expires, the possibility of a strike remains.

The Eastern Seabord receives much of the coffee that enters the United States, including the majority from top-producing countries Brazil and Colombia.

An unnamed coffee importer in a recent Reuters report suggests that some large roasters are buying as much as they can before the Sept. 30 deadline He or she said:

“People are scooping up on stuff (coffee) as insurance. The ones who have come forward, looking for spots for insurance, have been big roasters, just wanting to know what kind of coffees I have available on spot.”

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