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Indian coffee exports exceeded ₹10,000 crore in FY24 due to rising Robusta prices


Indian coffee exports exceeded ₹10,000 crore in FY24 due to rising Robusta prices.

Thanks to the rising trend in global Robusta prices, India’s coffee exports for the fiscal year ending March 2024 reached a new high in value terms.

Despite a marginal decrease in volumes, shipments set a new record. In fact, the fiscal year 2023-24 marked the third consecutive year in which Indian coffee shipments set a new record.

In dollar terms, Indian coffee shipments increased by 12.5% to $1.26 billion from $1.12 billion in fiscal 2022-23. In rupee terms, exports increased by 16% to ₹10,491 crore from ₹9,033 crore. In terms of quantity, exports fell 2.5% to 3.88 lakh tonnes from 3.98 lakh tonnes in 2022-23.

Also Read | Indian coffee exporters concerned about surge in robusta prices may drive buyers to cheaper origins

Supply issues

Global robusta prices have reached a three-decade high due to supply issues in top producing countries such as Vietnam and Brazil. This has benefited the Indian coffee sector, where robusta is the most widely produced variety. High robusta prices increased the per unit realisation for Indian exporters by a fifth to ₹2.7 lakh per tonne in 2023-24, up from ₹2.26 lakh the previous year.

“A combination of factors such as good market prices for Indian coffee and supply chain disruptions in Brazil and Vietnam have helped push up exports,” said K G Jagadeesha, Secretary and CEO of the Coffee Board. “Our export quantity in the last three years has increased principally from instant coffee,” he added.

India exports more than two-thirds of the approximately 3.5 lakh tonnes of coffee produced in the country. It also imports low-cost robusta coffee to re-export after value addition.

According to Ramesh Rajah, President of the Coffee Exporters Association, robustas accounted for the majority of the increase in export value during the fiscal year 2023–24.

Farm gate prices

In recent weeks, farmgate prices for robustas in India have surpassed those for arabicas, reflecting a global trend. Robusta parchment is priced at ₹14,000-14,500 per 50 kg bag, while robusta cherry, the most popular coffee variety in the country, costs ₹8,500-8,950. Arabica cherry coffee costs around ₹8,000-8,300 per bag, while Arabica parchment costs ₹13,900-14,300.

In fact, Indian robusta parchment AB commands a premium of $700-750 per tonne over London terminal prices, whereas robusta cherry premiums range between $350-400 per tonne.

Also Read | Coffee growers laughing their way to bank as prices of robustas reach a new high

Italy, Germany, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates are among the major markets for Indian coffee. In its post-blossom estimates for the crop year 2023-24, which begins in October, the Coffee Board projects a crop size of 3.74 lakh tonnes, up from the previous year’s final estimate of 3.52 lakh tonnes.

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