India’s coffee exports may fall by 5 per cent this year

Coffee exports from India, the third-largest producer in Asia, are set to fall this year as unfavourable weather and pest attacks is likely to lower production amid slump in the prices, the Coffee Exporters Association said.

The association estimates that exports may slide about 5 per cent to 2.40 lakh tonnes in 2018 calendar year. The country had exported 2.53 lakh tonnes during last year after the Coffee Board approved shipments for 3.86 lakh tonnes.

Normally, when production is down, prices should be higher. But due to a global surplus, overall prices are down and that has affected rates in India too, the association said.

Farmers in India have realised Rs 6,500-Rs 7,000 per bag (of 50kg each) in the crop harvested from October 2017 as compared to Rs 9,000-10,000 per bag in the year-ago period.

The Coffee production in the world is estimated to rise to 159.9 million bags (of 60kg each) in 2018, according to US department of agriculture.

Indian exporters are pinning their hopes on next year’s crop, which again is likely to fall short because of inadequate rains in the coffee-growing regions of Karnataka and Kerala. While growers had predicted a steep drop in arabica last year, they feel robusta, which accounts for nearly 70% of the total coffee output in the country, will be hit in the next crop.

There is not enough ground water and the southwest monsoon has been poor. Though the coffee blossoms were good, inadequate showers have hit the formation of robusta berries. Coffee planters are estimating a fall of 30 per cent in production this year.


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