Kochi: High prices and a strong dollar helped coffee exporters register higher revenues for the year ended 31 March though volumes fell by as much as 6.77% to 2,04,171 tonnes compared with 2,18,997 tonnes a year ago.
The fall in volumes was driven largely by an at least 13,000 tonnes drop in instant coffee exports, mainly to Russia and Ukraine, said G.V. Krishna Rau, chairman of the Coffee Board, the government’s coffee trade promotion agency.
Low yield: Lower coffee production globally could see prices rise again, though there could be issues of quality owing to weather conditions. Hemant Mishra / Mint
In rupee terms, exports rose 12% to Rs2,291.91 crore for 2008-09 compared with Rs2,046.29 crore last year. The depreciation of the rupee ensured higher realization for exporters, who received an average of Rs1,12,255 for a tonne of coffee, up 20% from Rs93,440 a tonne last year.
The rupee has fallen by around 25% between April 2008 and March this year.
There was a drop of almost 7,500 tonnes in the export of instant coffee to Russia alone due to the global economic downturn. Coffee exports to the US and Finland also dropped substantially, Rau said. He said the coffee production in the country, in the current season, will likely be lower and that an official assessment will be made shortly.
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Rau said unfavourable weather conditions such as unseasonal rains and severe drought in parts of coffee-growing areas could push the output down. A fall in production across the globe could see prices rise again, he added.
The board’s production estimate for the current coffee year is 2,76,000 tonnes, Rau said, but this will likely be revised downwards to 2,60,000 tonnes, largely on account of bad weather conditions.
Graphics by Ahmed Raza Khan / Mint