World coffee exports fall 0.9 per cent in March: ICO

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Members of the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) exported 10.811 million 60-kg bags of coffee in March 2018, down 0.9 per cent from 10.908 million in the same month last year, ICO data showed.

In the first six months of the 2017/18 season, which began on October 1, international coffee sales dropped 0.6 per cent to a total of 59.96 million bags.

Exports of Arabica coffee in the third month of 2018 were 6.33 million bags, 5.6 per cent less than in March 2017. Meanwhile, cumulative exports of the Arabica variety for the season to date fell 1.4 per cent to 37.98 million bags.

Robusta coffee sales between countries increased 6.7 per cent year-on-year in volume, from 4.48 million bags previously. Accumulated exports of the robusta variety for the current cycle rose 0.9 per cent to 21.99 million bags of 60 kilos.

According to ICO data, India exported 650,000 bags of coffee in March, down 4.8 per cent as compared to the export of 683,000 bags in the same month last year. India’s shipments of coffee during October to March of 2017-18 coffee year totaled 3.171 million bags, up by 9.6 per cent from 2.893 million bags a year earlier.

According to the ICO report, coffee year 2017/18 is estimated to be in surplus for the second consecutive year, with production exceeding consumption by 778,000 bags. This excess is weighing down on global coffee prices in the current year. Additionally, exports in the first five months of the year have increased compared to the same period in 2016/17, a year in which record export volumes were recorded.

“This has put pressure on prices as the market was well-supplied at the start of the coffee year. Stocks in the importing countries reached a record level of 26.33 million bags at the end of 201176 and declined to 25.59 million bags at the end of September 2017. June 2009 was the last time stocks in importing countries had reached this level,” ICO report said.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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