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Ban on Vietnam coffee imports will hit India’s re-exports

India’s move to ban farm product imports from Vietnam on phytosanitary issues will hurt the exports of value-added instant coffees from the country, exporters said.
Instant coffee makers in India such as Tata Coffee, CCL Products and Nestle India, among others, depend on Vietnam for cheaper robusta imports and re-export the same after value-addition here. Vietnam is a major producer of the robusta variety.
The low-priced imported robustas are converted into soluble coffees such as instant and freeze-dried coffee and re-exported mainly to Russia and other European countries. Instant coffees, in terms of green bean equivalent, accounts for about a third of India’s coffee exports.
“The ban on imports can potentially derail India’s instant coffee industry and hurt the exports of soluble coffees,” said Ramesh Rajah, President of the Coffee Exporters Association.
The coffee industry has been caught off guard by the Union Agriculture Ministry’s move to ban six farm products, including coffee and pepper, on concerns over phytosanitary issues, with effect from March 7. India’s move comes close on the heels of Vietnam announcing its intent to suspend imports of Indian peanuts, cassia seeds, cocoa beans, harricot beans and tamarind over phytosanitary issues.

Industry rattled

The Centre’s move to ban imports from Vietnam has rattled instant coffee makers, who have made significant capacity addition in the past few years to cater to the growing export and domestic demand.
Apart from large companies such as CCL Products, Tatas, Nestle and HUL, several smaller players such as Vayhan Coffee, Narasu’s and SLN Coffee have entered the instant coffee segment in recent years. The total instant coffee production capacity is estimated at around 50,000 tonnes per annum.
Rajah said India is the tenth largest buyer of Vietnam’s robustas. Imports from Vietnam stood at 32,606 tonnes in 2015-16, accounting for almost half of total imports of 64,087 tonnes during the year.
Indian companies also import raw coffee from Indonesia and Uganda, among other countries, to be re-exported as value added instant coffees.
In the current financial year, imports from Vietnam were estimated at 21,560 tonnes for the April-September period, while the total inflow of coffees into the country stood at 36,298 tonnes for the period.
“The ban on imports will not have any impact on us as we operate a big facility in Vietnam. But we can look at sourcing from other origins,” said C Rajendra Prasad, Executive Chairman of CCL Products (India) Ltd, the largest instant coffee maker in the country.

Big investments at stake

CCL Products operates a 20,000 tonne instant coffee facility at Duggirala, near Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, and another 10,000-tonne facility in Vietnam. CCL is also in the process of expanding its soluble coffee manufacturing facility in India and plans to add a 5,000-tonne per annum freeze-dried coffee plant in Chittoor with an investment of $50 million for which it has already bought the land. The Chittoor facility is expected to be operational sometime in 2018.
Tata Coffee, the largest integrated coffee player, recently announced plans to set up a 5,000 tonne freeze-dried coffee manufacturing unit in Vietnam. “We are studying the notification to understand its implications and work on an appropriate response. Vietnam is one of the sources of Green Coffee for us,” a Tata Coffee spokesperson said.
Instant coffee accounts for about 20 per cent of all global coffee consumption with freeze-dried instant coffee being the most premium.
The surge in re-exports drove India’s coffee shipments to a new high of 3.6 lakh tonnes in calendar 2016. Instant coffee exports, including re-exports, in terms of the green bean equivalent, grew 14 per cent to 1.06 lakh tonnes over last year’s 93,698 tonnes.
Re-exports in 2016 were up 24 per cent at 81,485 tonnes over the previous year’s 65,724 tonnes.

Coffee Exports Increased by 7.22 Percent in April 2015

Coffee exports from the country have increased by 7.22% to 31,060 tons in April this year compared to the same month in 2014. The country had shipped 28,966 tons of coffee in the same period last year, the Coffee Board said in its latest report.

The volumes of exports have increased, but value realization has come down due to weak global prices.

India exports both arabica and robusta varieties besides instant coffee. Major export destinations for coffee are Italy, Germany, Turkey, Russian Federation and Belgium among others.

28th February 2014 , World Coffee Production may Rise This Year

Global coffee production is estimated to increase to 145.8 million bags in this 2013-14 marketing year despite a small drop projected in major producing countries like Brazil, Indonesia and India.

World coffee production stood at 145.1 million bags during 2012-13 crop year (October-September). One bag contains 60 kg of coffee.

Total coffee production in 2013-14 is provisionally estimated at 145.8 million bags, a 0.5 % increase on 2012-13, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said in a report.

Production of Arabicas is expected to decrease by 3.8 % to 85.4 million bags, but that of Robustas is projected to rise by 7.2 % to 60.3 million bags this year.

Coffee output in Brazil, the worlds largest producer, is expected to decline by 3.3 % to 49.2 million bags in 2013-14, but a record volume for an off-year in Brazil.

Similarly, production in 3rd largest producer Indonesia is expected to decline to 11.66 million bags from 12.73 million bags, while output in India, the worlds 5th biggest producer, is also seen to be down at 5.19 million bags from 5.3 million bags in the review period.

Production is also expected to be lower in countries like Bolivia, Burundi, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Tanzania and Uganda this year.

However, coffee production in Vietnam, the worlds 2nd biggest grower, is expected to increase to 27.50 million bags in 2013-14 marketing year, as against 22.03 million bags in the last year.

Coffee production in Ethiopia is likely to increase to 6.6 million bags from 6.36 million bags in the review period.

04th October 2013 , India exports coffee primarily to Italy, Germany, Russia and Belgium.

Coffee exports drop 5% on sluggish global prices in 2012-13 . Robusta variety accounted for 70% of coffee exports and rest was arabica India's coffee exports dropped 5% in the 2012-13 marketing year on sluggish prices and lower supplies even as global demand remained reasonably good amid an economic slowdown, according to the Coffee Board.

The country exported 3,00,525 tonnes of coffee in the marketing year ended September compared with 3,16,160 tonnes a year earlier, its latest data showed. "Two key developments fall in prices and lower stock of old crop ­­affected volumes of exports in 2012­13," a senior Coffee Board official told PTI.

The value of coffee exports declined to Rs 4,548.84 crore from Rs 4,725.26 crore, while realization was slightly higher at Rs 1,51,363 per tonne as against Rs 1,49,457 per tonne, according to the Board. The robusta variety accounted for 70% of the coffee exports and the rest was arabica, the official said. Attributing the fall in shipments to depressed global prices following large supplies from Brazil, the official said there was a declining trend in arabica rates at the beginning of the year and later prices of robusta too started falling.

Currently, arabica prices are ruling at a four­ year low. The drop in global prices has discouraged domestic planters from selling their stock, the official said. Traders did not have enough old stock to meet orders as they had exhausted much of it in the previous year, taking advantage of higher prices, the official said.

According to the Coffee Board, global demand was reasonably good in the 2012­13 despite the economic slowdown. Supplies increased because of higher crop output in other countries, especially Brazil, the world's largest grower and seller of coffee.

India exports coffee primarily to Italy, Germany, Russia and Belgium.

The board pegged coffee production at 3,47,000 tonnes in the 2013­14 marketing year. Harvesting of coffee will start in mid ­October.

19th August 2013 , Excess rains may lead to lower coffee output this year

Excess rainfall in key coffee growing areas of Karnataka has hit plantations badly and growers expect the output to shrink by 10-30 per cent over initial crop estimates.

Production hit - Heavy and continuous rainfall in coffee growing regions of Coorg, Chikmagalur and Hassan districts has triggered berry droppings and fungal disease black rot of coffee, which is seen affecting the production . These three districts accounted for over 72 per cent of the country’s coffee output of 3.18 lakh tonnes last year. The Coffee Board in its post-blossom forecast for 2013-14 had projected an output of 3.47 lakh tonnes, a nine per cent increase over last year’s 3.18 lakh tonnes. The output of arabica, a milder and premium variety was projected to increase by 13 per cent to 1.11 lakh tonnes, while robusta was expected to grow 7.5 per cent at 2.36 lakh tonnes.

Excess rains - “We expect the output to decline by about 20-30 per cent over the Coffee Board’s initial estimates as excess rains have caused damage to plantations,” said H.T. Mohankumar, General Secretary of Karnataka Growers Federation, in Sakleshpur of Hassan district. KGF, which represents the small coffee growers in the State, estimates the 2013-14 crop at around 2.8 lakh tonnes.

Lower output - “The continuing drizzle across the coffee growing areas has triggered black rot disease” Mohankumar added. Anil Bhandari, a large coffee grower, said the arabica output will be lower by about 10,000-15,000 tonnes this year due to heavy infestation of white stem borer during April-May. Also, the berry dropping due to excess rains in several pockets will bring down the robusta output by 15,000-20,000 tonnes. “The overall output this year will barely touch around lakh lakh tonnes,” Bhandari said.

Coorg, Hassan Officials at the Coffee Board admit that heavy rains this year have affected the plantations mainly in parts of Coorg and Hassan. Though berry drop of 6-7 per cent is common during the monsoon period, this year it is slightly more. However, officials said it is too early to estimate the losses as the monsoon rains are still continuing and will go on till end-September.The Board normally comes out with post-monsoon estimates sometime in November every year. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the country has received 14 per cent excess rains till August 16, since the onset in June. The south interior Karnataka, where most of the coffee growing regions fall, has received 30 per cent more rains this year.

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