Weak prices, slower demand pull down coffee exports in 2012
New Delhi: India's coffee exports fell by 9.15 percent to 3,09,570 tonnes during 2012 calendar year on account of weak international prices, tight domestic supply and some drop in demand due to global economic crisis, according to the Coffee Board of India.
However, the export realisation was better than 2011 mainly because of better global prices of robusta variety in the beginning of the year, it added. In 2011, the country had shipped 3,40,779 tonnes coffee.
"The shipments have come down this year for three reasons -- not so good demand for our coffee due to recession in some countries, falling prices in the global market and tight local stocks," a senior Coffee Board official said.
There was hardly any old stock left in the country for export purpose this year because much of it was exhausted in the last two years when demand was at its peak and international prices were high, the official said.
Normally, India's coffee exports consist of 2-3 years' stocks. Also, global prices remained less lucrative for Indian coffee exporters as improved supplies from Brazil and Vietnam dented prices, the official added.
While rates of arabica variety remained lower throughout the year, prices of robusta variety, which were lucrative during the first half of the year, began to decline later.
Primarily on account of better robusta prices, the Coffee Board official said, the export realisation was slightly higher
at Rs 1,52,038 per tonne in 2012 as compared to Rs 1,40,496 per tonne in 2011.
However, total exports in terms of value during the current calendar year remained marginally lower at Rs 4,706.66 crore, as against Rs 4,787.84 crore in the 2011 calendar year.
India exported 1,56,896 tonne of robusta and 57,834 tonne of arabica varieties this year. There was 18 percent fall in robusta shipments.
In the international market, arabica prices fell from the level of Rs 10,000 per bag (of 50 kg) in January to Rs 6000-7,500 per bag at the fag end of the year.
Similarly, robusta prices have fallen from Rs 8,000 per bag to Rs 6,000 per bag at the fag end of the year, industry data showed.
Currently, new crop is being harvested in some states and total production is expected to be 315,500 tonnes in the ongoing marketing year that will September 2013. Last year, total production stood at 314,000 tonnes.