US dept of agri pegs India's coffee exports at 5.51 mn bags

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India’s coffee exports are expected to decline by 5 per cent to 5.51 million bags (about 3.30 lakh tonnes) in the current marketing year due to an expected larger global supply of the brew, a USDA report said.

Coffee exports from India stood at 5.81 million bags of 60 kg each (about 3.49 lakh tonnes) in 2011-12 marketing year (October-September), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its latest report.

“Exports for marketing year (2012-13) are forecast at 5.5 million bags, down just 3,00,000 bags from last year’s record level due to expected larger global supplies,” it added.

While global Arabica prices have dropped significantly, prices for Robusta, which comprises the bulk of Indian exports, have been relatively steady, lending support to the expectation that exports will again be near record, it said.

According to the government-run Coffee Board, the exports from India, the world’s 6th largest exporter, dropped by 8 per cent to 3.21 lakh tonnes in the 2011-12 coffee marketing year.

On domestic consumption of the brew, the US agency on the farm sector said that despite a rise in demand in the domestic markets, exports still constitute a majority of the trade in the brew.

“There are signs that popularity of coffee is increasing with the spread of both foreign and home-grown coffee shops.

However, exports continue to siphon large amounts of coffee away from the domestic market and consumption estimates are largely unchanged,” it said.

The bulk of India’s coffee production is exported and the domestic industry focuses much of its marketing effort on export promotion, the USDA added.

According to Coffee Board, domestic consumption of the brew rose by 6 per cent to 1.08 lakh tonnes in 2010 from 1.02 lakh tonnes in 2009.

(This article was published on November 15, 2012)
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