Global coffee exports jump in Nov, Robusta rises says ICO

Monday, 7 January 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  •  Global robusta exports near 46 m bags over 12 months
  • Arabica exports rise in Nov 2012, lag 12-month period
  • Ethiopia’s coffee exports double in Nov 2012 month/month

(Reuters): Global coffee exports jumped nearly 17% in November from the same month in 2011, while robusta exports surged by 23.5% over a one-year period, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said on Friday.

World coffee exports rose to 9.21 million 60-kg bags in November, up 16.8% from 7.88 million in the same month in 2011, the monthly data showed.

In the first two months of the 2012/13 marketing year, which started in October, coffee exports rose 21.2% to 18.73 million bags from 15.45 million bags in the same period of the 2011/12 year, the ICO said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has forecast record world coffee production in 2012/13 at 151 million bags, up almost 7 million bags from the previous year, marking the third straight year of climbing output. Exports of robusta coffee, which generally costs significantly less than the arabica bean variety, jumped 23.5% in the 12 months ending in November 2012 to 45.93 million bags, compared with 37.19 million bags, the ICO reported.

In the month of November alone, robusta coffee exports totalled 3.61 million bags, well above the 2.49 million shipped in the same month in 2011 but below the prior month’s 4.04 million bags. Demand for robusta has been steadily increasing as demand in Asia grows and as some roasters have included more of it in their brewing blends. Traditionally, robusta has been processed into instant coffee whereas arabica coffee beans have been roasted for brewed coffee.

Global exports of arabica coffee continued to fall and reached 66.75 million bags in the 12 months ending in November, down 1% from 67.45 million bags last year.

For the month of November, however, arabica coffee exports rose to 5.60 million bags, up from the prior month’s 5.48 million and the 5.39 million shipped in November 2011.

The world’s biggest coffee grower, Brazil, which produces both arabica and robusta, exported 2.798 million bags in November, down 8% from November 2011, the ICO data showed.

Brazil’s trade ministry said on Wednesday that Brazil exported 2.5 million bags in November and 2.62 million bags in December, down just slightly from 2.63 million bags in December 2011.

Exporters in Brazil have said the lag in exports is due to a delayed start to harvesting after wet weather as well as grower reluctance to sell after a sharp fall in prices. Exports from Vietnam, the world’s biggest producer of the robusta variety, jumped to 1.85 million bags, up 58% from the previous November.

In Colombia, the world’s biggest grower of high-quality arabica, November exports reached a light 734,664 bags, down 5% from November 2011, while they soared in Indonesia, where both arabica and robusta are grown. Indonesia shipped out 1.087 million bags of coffee, more than double the 538,239 bags sent in November 2011, the data showed.

In Africa, the arabica producing nation of Ethiopia exported 294,426 bags, double its November 2011 exports. Uganda’s exports eased slightly to 224,396 bags from 227,177 bags the prior November. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt in London and Marcy Nicholson in New York; editing by Jane Baird and Jim Marshall)