In what could be a quality, or could be a price-fixing measure to benefit offshored pre-shipped stocks, the exporters and the government in Mada have instituted a $350 price floor on exported vanilla, and an export cutoff date of May 31/June 1.
In past times a few vanilla firms were blacklisted by the US Embassy for manipulating prices to slam the export door behind them, and a lot of vanilla professionals suspect the same backstage behavior in Madagascar this year.
Production costs in Madagascar continue to fall, with a large yield expected for October’s open, much larger than last year, and it is unclear if the artificial price control will work and contain the downward price trend.
Predictably, most of the largest firms in vanilla claim other reasons for the $350 freeze. – From quality control to sustainable agriculture to local government finance.
Price politics aside, the Tana government has greatly improved to reputation of Madagascar vanilla, by instituting strict quality regimes, and thus the island has regained industry clout.
For now all vanilla has to leave and tag to an inbound bank transfer at $350 to be allowed out of Madagascar.
Coronavirus has not halted the export or flow of outbound vanilla, though some carriers of freight have increased rates. Vanilla still leaves daily from the isle and the vanilla coast.