New Delhi: India's coffee exports rose 7 percent to 21,557 tonne in January but value realisation per unit remained low due to weak global prices and higher demand for cheaper coffee on account of worldwide economic slowdown, according to the Coffee Board.
In the coming months as well, exporters said, coffee shipments from India are expected to be "normal" but export value realisation would be down by 10-15 percent.
According to the Coffee Board data, India exported 21,557 tonne coffee in January, as against 20,112 tonne in the same month last year.
In value terms, total exports were worth Rs 343.42 crore, slightly higher than Rs 336.65 crore in January 2011. However, the unit per value realisation remained lower at Rs 1,59,307 per tonne in January, as against Rs 1,67,387 tonne in the year-ago period, it said.
The Coffee Board and exporters attributed fall in export value realisation to sluggish global prices following good crop in Brazil. Besides, demand for cheaper coffee due to poor economic situation in some countries dented Indian exports.
While the export of arabica, a premium coffee variety, rose to 6,689 tonne, from 5,444 tonne, the shipment of robusta variety declined to 6,257 tonne from 8,017 tonne in the period under the review.
Re-export of coffee from the country increased sharply to 6,425 tonne in January, as against 4,532 tonne in the same month last year.
Coffee Exporters Association President Ramesh Rajah said: "Despite higher volume of shipments, export value realisation was less because global prices remained lower. Also, we could not export much in the last month due to late crop arrival."
Exports would continue at this pace in the coming months with no significant improvement in export realisation. "We expect unit per value realisation to remain down by 10-15 per cent this year," he said.
The Board has pegged coffee production at 3,15,500 tonne in the 2012-13 crop year (October-September), a marginal increase of 1,500 tonne over the final estimate of 314,000 tonne in 2011-12.