Agri Business

Coffee shipments down in June quarter

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru July 2 | Updated on July 02, 2019

Low prices coupled with weak demand from key overseas buyers have impacted India's coffee exports for the April-June quarter this year. Exporters said the outlook for shipments during the rest of the year remains bleak as the current crop is estimated to be lower than the Coffee Board’s projections, while concerns linger on the forthcoming crop due to a truant monsoon.

Provisional figures released by the Board reveal that volume shipments for the June quarter were lower by around 6 per cent at 1.023 lakh tonnes as against 1.084 lakh tonnes in the corresponding quarter last fiscal.

In US dollar terms, the shipments dropped 16 per cent to $227 million as against $270 million in the same period last year. In rupee terms, exports fell 12 per cent to ₹1,579 crore from the corresponding last quarter’s ₹1,806 crore.

“The decline in volumes is mainly because of drop in instant coffee shipments. Shipments of arabicas are also down, but robustas are slightly better. The dip in international prices resulted in poor realisations. Also a lower crop had led to reduced shipments,” said Ramesh Rajah, President of Coffee Exporters Association.

The per-unit realisation also declined by around 7 per cent during the quarter on a slump in global prices. On an average, Indian exporters realised about ₹1.54 lakh per tonne during the June quarter as against ₹1.66 lakh in the corresponding previous quarter.

Monsoon impact

While the Coffee Board had pegged India’s output for the current crop year (September 2018-October 2019) at 3.19 lakh tonnes, marginally higher than the previous year’s 3.16 lakh tonnes, exporters estimate it to be between 2.8-2.9 lakh tonnes.

Also, the poor progress of the monsoon in the ongoing season so far, mainly in the key growing regions of Karnataka and Kerala, could impact the output of the forthcoming (2019-20) crop, Rajah said. As a result, India’s exports for the calendar 2019 may fall short by at least a tenth over last year’s 3.48 lakh tonnes, he said.

In the first six months of calendar 2019, the shipments in volumes were marginally down at 2.11 lakh tonnes as against 2.12 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period last year. In dollar value, the exports were lower by about 8 per cent during the January-June period at $481 million ($522 million in Jan-June 2018).

Similarly, in rupee value terms, exports declined by 2 per cent to ₹3,368 crore (₹3,436 crore). Italy, Germany and the Russian Federation have been the top three buyers of Indian coffee in calendar 2019 so far.

Published on July 02, 2019

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