New Year begins on a grim note for coffee exports

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 02, 2013 20:50 hrs

The outlook for coffee exports in 2013 seems to be grim, as the exporters have not received an encouraging response in the international markets. Bean exports, which declined 9.34 per cent in 2012, are unlikely to see a big jump this year as well.

According to coffee market analysts, the continued economic slowdown and demand drop in the major consuming countries in the European Union are likely to affect coffee exports this year. Added to this, the decline in Arabica prices, owing to the glut in the market, has dampened the spirits of exporters.

Arabica prices have more than halved to $1.44 per lb (pound) in the international markets as against $3 per lb during the same period last year. This is largely due to a bumper crop in Brazil and the resultant glut, analysts noted.

No encouraging response for coffee in the international markets
  Jan 11–
Dec 11
Jan 12–
Dec 12
Growth %
Permits issued (in tonnes) 342,952 310,886 -9.34
Value (in $mn) 1,043.75 926.27 -11.25
Value (in Rs cr) 4,823.48 4,728.71 -1.96
Unit value (Rs /tonne)


1,52,104 8.14
Source: Coffee Board

“This year, the prices of Arabica are not good and ruling at half of the peak levels seen in early 2012. This may have an impact on exports this year. Also, we do not see any rise in the crop, as it is an off year for Arabica in India. Since there is good demand for coffee in the local market, exports would naturally be affected,” Marvin Rodrigues, former chairman, Karnataka Planters’ Association (KPA), said.

KPA has estimated Arabica crop at 85,000 tonnes for the current year, which is about 15,000 tonnes lower than Coffee Board estimates. “There cannot be two consecutive good crop years for Arabica. This year it is going to be less than last year. Already, many of our member growers have reported lower crop,” he said.

However, Robusta production is reported to be better this year with total output estimated at 221,165 tonnes, about 4.1 per cent higher than last year’s final estimates.

Between January and December 2012, coffee exports declined 9.34 per cent to 310,886 tonnes valued at Rs 4,728.71 crore ($926.27 million). In comparison, 342,952 tonnes of coffee was exported between January and December 2011, valued at Rs 4,823.48 crore ($1,043.75 million).

During this period, 262,545 tonnes of Indian coffee was exported, down 10 per cent. And 48,341 tonnes of instant coffee was re-exported. Indian coffee is the one grown in India and exported, whereas re-exported coffee is the one imported by India, refined / processed and then exported again.

“Contrary to the cheerful start to 2012, when exporters opened the year with good prices, the opening of 2013 is not encouraging for the exporters. According to early indications, there is no positive news as the order book remains very thin and there are not many enquiries for the first quarter of 2013,” Ramesh Rajah, president, Coffee Exporters’ Association of India, said.

For financial year 2012-13 so far, that is, between April and December 2012, India exported 210,858 tonnes of coffee, valued at Rs 3,270.09 crore ($625.11 million) compared to 244,798 tonnes worth Rs 3,385.29 crore ($737.41 million).

In the first three months of the coffee year, (October to December 2012), coffee exports dropped 16.50 per cent to 47,159 tonnes worth Rs 771.49 crore ($142.46 million).

India exports coffee to Italy, Russia, Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Malaysia, Spain, Turkey, Jordan and the US. The top-five coffee exporters in India include CCL Products with a little over 10 per cent market share, Allanasons (9.86 per cent), NKG Jayanti Coffee (8.50 per cent), Tata Coffee (around seven per cent) and Amalgamated Bean Coffee that runs the well known Cafe Coffee Day (6.83 per cent).

More from Sify: