Better monsoon likely to improve India’s coffee yields

Higher monsoon rains this year will improve India’s coffee yields as well as its exports, according to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report.

India, the world’s sixth-largest coffee grower, is likely to produce 225,000 metric tons of Robusta variety and 90,000 metric tons of Arabica variety during the October-September crop year.

Thanks to bountiful rains, the yields of Robusta variety are expected to be 7 % higher than last year, while that of Arabica will increase by 3%. However, compared to a 5-year average, the yields will be 10% and 6% lower.

India mainly produces Robusta beans, used to make instant coffee, but also grows the more expensive Arabic a beans.

There is a possibility of emergence of Black Rot (Koleroga), a disease likely to occur in areas with heavy rainfall, saturated atmosphere with 95-100% relative humidity, thick overhead shades as well as moisture and wind.
Indian exports are expected to recover gradually in wake of the covid pandemic.

“While there has been a marginal recovery in shipments from July onwards to cater to delayed orders, new orders are occurring slowly,” the USDA report said.

“The current export demand recovery may be transient as there are growing concerns about a second wave of the Covid-19 infections in major European export markets.”

In 2020, coffee exports between March and August were 12% lower than previous year.

However, the second half of October-September  marketing year is likely to see higher demand.

According to Coffee Board export data, the number of export permits issued in marketing year 2020/21 between October and November are 15% higher than the same period last year.

Italy, Germany and Belgium are usually the main buyers of Indian coffee.
Demand for Indian coffee is largely expected to be driven by an expected recovery in retail sales of soluble coffee for at home consumption.

The slowdown in sales experienced by the hospitality segment and institutional sectors is likely to continue in the next quarter and recovery will be gradual, the USDA said.

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