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Barcelona wins its star on world coffee map.

Barcelona is a true daughter of the Mediterranean--it sprawls crowded and nervous, between mountains and sea. The city has been a port of some note for 2000 years. Although historically shadowed by the magnificence of the great Mediterranean trading cities of Venice and Genoa, Barcelona too has seen a golden age and added chapters of its own to the story of the Spanish Empire and the rise of European ports and industrial complexes. Emblematic of this, the city never forgets that it was in the courtyard of Barcelona's regal Salon del Tinell, where Colombus was received on his return from the New World by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

Interestingly enough, it is now on the eve of the year in which we celebrate Columbus's voyage and the Olympic games, that Barcelona again is making full use of its unique Catalan energy and strong sense of tradition.

Being host city to the 1992 Olympic Games seems to have brought an unprecedented boom in construction and renewal to Barcelona, but actually much of the activity is part of a decade-long movement toward a new position for the city and port in the framework of the European Community. Barcelona sees itself as Spain's gateway to the EEC, as the capital of a significant European region (Catalonia) and as the EEC's rising sunbelt mega-city. In all these self images, the Port area figures as a major playing card. To this end, Barcelona is realizing one of Europe's most ambitious port area renovation projects which will in effect return the old center port area to the people of the city for cultural and recreational activities and create a huge new port area that will offer state-of-the art transportation and distribution possibilities.

General Stats: Barcelona is Spain's largest port, with a traffic of more than 18 million m. tons in 1990. It features 20 km of wharfs and berths; 179,000 sq.m. of covered warehousing, 1.1 million sq.m. of uncovered storage areas. In 1990, 71% of the general cargo was containerized. Barcelona has regular shipping service from 250 lines, and is connected directly with over 400 ports worldwide. By road, the port is only 150 km from the French border.

Coffee Stats: Barcelona's port services have national and (increasingly) an international coffee cliental. Barcelona is Spain's leading coffee port, but its long experience in coffee handling is built on serving a vigorous regional coffee roasting industry. There are 45 roasters in the province of Catalonia, and nearby roasting plants include the quite large facilities of Nestle Espana and Marcilla (Douwe Egberts).

Certainly the most important news in coffee for Barcelona has been the awarding of tenderable designation by the London and Paris/Le Havre terminal markets. This became operable in June of this year, and opens the potential for a new age in coffee handling. With terminal market designation, Barcelona becomes the only port in the Western Mediterranean directly linked to the international market scene (Trieste is the only other terminal market port in the Sea).

To date, the only warehouse with terminal market designation in the Port is Barcelona International Terminal (BIT). This is a full-serviced, bonded, coffee and cocoa dedicated warehousing operation that opened with a new warehouse structure in 1986. Since then capacity has been increased by almost 50% and a further increase is planned. As of this writing, BIT held 155,000 bags of coffee, 55,000 bags of cocoa.

Barcelona has come to rank among the top Mediterranean traffic centers in African and Brazilian coffees. Adding to this, the Port is now looking forward to significant growth in Far East coffee traffic. The Port received a record 107,740 m. tons of coffee in 1990. This marks an increase of 18% over the landings in 1989--an increase of 50% over the coffee handling tonnage of 1987.

About 50% of the coffee coming into Barcelona is produced by African nations. The leading ports of origin in 1990 were Douala with 21,000 tons, Mombasa with 15,000 tons, Abidjan with 9,900 tons, Santos with 7,700 tons, Singapore with 7,600 tons and Cartagena with 4,800 tons. The surge of coffee into Barcelona last year is almost entirely due to sharply increased traffic from the ports of Douala, Mombasa, Santos, Singapore and Cartagena. Coffee shipping from Douala almost doubled in course of the past year.

In sum, Barcelona received coffee from 112 ports in 1990, although the 23 leading ports of origin represented 86% of the coffee shipped.

Total coffee tonnage in 1987 = 71,365; 1988 = 86,072; 1989 = 90,926; and 1990 = 107,740.

During the first four months of this year (Jan-April 1991), Barcelona received 38,090 tons of coffee. This marks a gain of 13% over the same period of 1990. Rolling back 12 months from the end of April 1991, the year total in coffee handling in Barcelona reaches 112,252 metric tons.

Masiques 100th marked by BIT market designation

Masiques Enterprises is a century-old firm operating in the Port of Barcelona. The president of the company is Jose Miguel Masiques, the grandson of the founder.

Masiques is a custom broker and forwarding agent with a long-term and significant involvement with coffees and cocoa landed in Barcelona. This participation has been heightened by the successful operations of a joint venture between Masiques and SGS--the warehousing entity of Barcelona International Terminal, S.A. (BIT). BIT is nominated by London Fox from July 1, 1991 for coffees--Arabicas and Robustas--landed in the Port of Barcelona.

This past year, the BIT warehouse handled 49,000 tons of coffee.

In launching a second century of service to the Port of Barcelona, the company is also reaffirming its growing interaction with the Spanish and international coffee trade and industry as a logistical service in green coffee transport, handling and distribution.
 Leading Ports of Origin
 for Coffee into Barcelona
 Metric Tons
PORT 1990 1989
Douala 21,106 10,583
Mombasa 15,270 11,302
Abidjan 9,940 9,192
Santos 7,703 5,095
Singapore 7,573 6,868
Cartagena 4,800 3,436
Puerto Principe 2,845 3,029
San Pedro Macoris 2,066 2,836
Buenos Aires 2,039 1,024
Asuncion 1,737 3,301
Santo Thomas C. 1,551 900
Dar Es Salaam 1,536 3,024
Puerto Cortes 1,472 89
Vitoria 1,467 2,036
La Spezzia 1,392 378
Surabaya 1,312
Rio 1,027 1,410
Callao 1,006 1,281
Montevideo 997 837
Palma de Majorca 897 796
Tamatave 891 1,000
Puerto Limon 879 404
Bombay 836 493
COPYRIGHT 1991 Lockwood Trade Journal Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes related article; coffee roasting, trading
Author:Bell, Jonathan
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Aug 1, 1991
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