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A bitter year ahead for coffee exporters

A bitter year ahead for coffee exporters

Wed Oct 10 2018

 

Indian coffee exporters may face a second consecutive bad year as early crop estimates for 2019 indicate a shortfall. Exports since January are already trailing those from last year.

 

The difference is expected to widen until December, when harvesting for the new crop begins. Still, exporters expecting better shipments from January could be disappointed as supply problems may continue in 2019. “Two consecutive bad years may force the buyers to shift to other sources. Vietnam is already a big threat,” said Ramesh Rajah, president of the Coffee Exporters’ Association. Coffee exports at about 4 lakh tons in 2017 were 12 per cent higher from a year earlier. In the current year, shipments are expected to go down by 10-15 per cent because of a supply crunch, and lower prices in other countries.

 

India exports 70 per cent of its coffee production, of which robusta accounts for the lion’s share. Although the Coffee Board projected an output of 3.16 lakh tons in 2017-18, growers said production would likely be less than 3 lakh tons, with robusta worse affected than arabica beans. Next year is also expected to be difficult for coffee. Heavy rains in Karnataka, the top producer, and Kerala over the last few months have caused extensive damage to coffee plants. “It is difficult to assess the loss but we expect 30-40 per cent shortage in the output for next year,” said HT Pramod, chairman of Karnataka Planters’ Association.

 

In the coffee growing district of Wayanad in Kerala, the situation is no different. Last year, the production was short by about 20 per cent at 37,000 tons. “At best, this year’s crop could be the same as last year’s,” said Prashant Rajesh, secretary, Wayanad Coffee Growers Association.

 

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

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