India is off to a good start with coffee exports for the 2022-23 season starting October, mainly for soluble coffees and robustas, while major producers such as Brazil and Vietnam have seen a decline during the period, according to the International Coffee Organisation (ICO).

ICO in its latest report for November said the global exports of green beans in October 2022 totalled 8.5 million bags compared with 8.72 million bags in the same month a year ago, down 2.5 per cent. While the Brazilian Naturals alone started the new coffee year with an uptick of 0.5 per cent, shipments of Colombian Milds decreased by 4.1 per cent to 0.94 million bags in October (0.98 million bags in October 2021).

Robusta exports

Exports of robustas fell by 4.8 per cent to 2.82 million bags (2.96 million bags) during the period. With the exception of India and Indonesia, all major origins within the robustas group saw their exports of green beans fall in October 2022 – Uganda (-6 per cent) and Vietnam (-19.5 per cent).

However, during October, total exports of soluble coffee increased by 10.9% to 1.19 million bags compared with 1.07 million bags a year ago. Brazil, the largest exporter of soluble coffee, shipped 2,91,345 bags in October 2022, down 6.2 per cent from 3,10,731 bags in October 2021. “The second and third placed origins, India and Indonesia, however, started the new coffee year at a gallop, with their soluble coffee exports up 25 per cent and 33.7 per cent, at 1,80,000 bags and 397,805 bags, respectively, in October 2022,” ICO said.

Soluble or instant coffees account for close to a third of India’s coffee exports. In the calendar year till date, exports of instant coffees from India stood at 1.24 lakh tonnes compared with 1.11 lakh tonnes a year ago. As per Coffee Board’s latest data, export permits issued from October 1 to December 6 were lower at 57,669.6 tonnes compared with 71,909.3 a year ago.

The value of these permits issued stood at $163.13 million ($172.52 million). The harvest of the arabica coffee has started in the key-producing regions of Kodagu and Chikmagalur, while the robusta harvest is set to commence in the next few weeks. The shipments are expected to gain momentum in the first quarter of 2023.

Ramesh Rajah, President, Coffee Exporters Association, said there is good demand for robusta cherry and soluble coffees. Such demand for moderately prices coffees could be largely driven by the prevailing economic conditions in the US and Europe.

ICO has pegged the world coffee production for the crop year 2022-23 year at 167.2 million bags, a 2.1 per cent decrease as compared with 170.83 million bags in the previous year. The world consumption is projected to grow by 3.3 per cent to 170.3 million 60-kg bags in 2022-23 as compared to 164.9 million in the previous year. In 2022-23, the consumption is expected to exceed production by 3.1 million bags. The New York certified stocks increased by 45.3 per cent from the previous month, closing in at 0.59 million bags, whilst certified stocks of robusta coffee reached 1.45 million bags, representing a decrease of 4.6 per cent.