Agri Business

Belgium, Russia buying lifts coffee exports

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on July 06, 2021

During Jan-June, value of shipments rises 16% at $461 m, volume up 11%

India’s coffee exports increased 16 per cent for the first six months of calendar 2021 to $460.89 million over same period last year’s $395 million, on robust purchases by countries such as Belgium and with 1.75 lakh tonnes in the same period last year.

In rupee terms, the realisations were up by 15 per cent at ₹3,375 crore during the first half compared with ₹2,932 crore in the same period last year. As the global prices improved during the period, the per unit realisation fetched by Indian exporters was higher.

Exporters’ average per unit realisation in the first half of the year stood at ₹1,75,104.99 a tonne compared with ₹1,68,651.22.

Low base

“The export numbers are positive as last year was bad. Also the base was low. We are seeing improved demand now as most of the countries are opening up in Europe and pending orders are getting cleared. We expect shipments to pick by end August-September,” said Ramesh Rajah, president, Coffee Exporters Association.

In the first quarter of the current financial year, volumes were up 17 per cent at 1.01 lakh tonnes compared with 87,020 tonnes. In value terms, shipments were up 20 per cent at $236.94 million compared with $197.63 million in April-June last year. The growth in coffee exports during the first half was despite lower off-take from large buyers such as Italy and Germany, as Covid pandemic impacted the out-of-home consumption in these markets. Though Italy remained the top buyer of Indian coffees during the review period, volumes were down at 34,595 tonnes, some 4 per cent lower than 35,955 tonnes a year ago.


Germany slips

Germany, the second largest buyer of Indian coffees during 2020, slipped to the third slot as roasters from that country bought less of green beans. Germany bought 17,562 tonnes compared with 19,303 tonnes, a decline of nine per cent.

Belgium, which displaced Germany as the second largest buyer during the period, bought 18,285 tonnes, an increase of 33 per cent over 13,723 tonnes a year ago.

Rajah said the volumes shipped to Belgium could be misleading as lot of coffee shipped to Antwerp is headed for neighbouring countries such as Switzerland and others. All coffee headed for the Antwerp port does not necessarily mean it is for Belgium, Rajah said. The enhanced efficiency at Antwerp port is attracting the Indian exporters and part of the cargo meant for other ports such as Trieste and Bremen is getting diverted to the Belgian port, he added.

The Russian Federation bought 45 per cent more coffees from India at 11,803 tonnesagainst 8,122 tonnes. Rajah attributed the rise in shipments to Russia to the increased with to 6,530 tonnes. As the pandemic also dealt an economic blow, cheaper instant coffees found preference among consumers, resulting in higher growth. Libya, among the top five buyers of Indian coffees during the first half, purchased 7,794 tonnes, up 47 per cent over 5,303 tonnes a year ago.

India exports over two thirds of the around three lakh tonnes of the coffee produced and Europe is the main market.

Published on July 06, 2021

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