Source: ETRetail.com, Jan 24, 2017
Kochi: Coffee exporters are finding it difficult to source coffee as growers are holding on to stock anticipating higher prices. Coffee prices have been rising globally with reports of lower output in Brazil and Vietnam, the top coffee growing nations.India exports close to 70% of its total coffee production.
“Exporters are not taking big orders as arrivals are 30% to 40 % down from a year ago. We are adopting a wait and watch policy and expect arrivals to increase at least by February,“ said Ramesh Rajah, president of the Coffee Exporters Association of India.
Harvest is in full swing with plucking of arabica beans nearing completion while that of robusta has started. “Some exports are taking place with carryover stock of robusta mostly ,“ Rajah said.
Growers feel that arabica crop would be lower than the 96,200 tonnes predicted byCoffee Board in its post-monsoon crop estimate with rampant white stem borer pest attack.
“We think the overall crop could be in the range of 75,000 to 80,000 tonnes. So, gradual release of the stock by growers could be due to a combination of factors like decline in crop and expectation of a higher price in the coming days,“ said Marvin Rodrigues, a major grower.
Bulk of the coffee produced in India is robusta, for which the Coffee Board forecast is 220,500 tonnes. Growers feel that it could be more or less near that estimate though there could be a fall in the production of washed robusta because of water shortage following inadequate rainfall in Karnataka, the coffee growing hub of India.
“You generally need a lot of water for pulping and fermenting, especially in the case of robusta. But water scarcity could bring its production down,“ Rodrigues said.