Mumbai: India’s coffee exports rose 5.4% during the first two months of 2008 on higher arrivals of new season Arabica crop, an official from the Coffee Board said on Monday.
Total exports were 35,877 tonnes during January-February compared with 34,038 tonnes in the year-ago period, the official, who did not want to be identified, said.
“Indian Arabicas are attracting good export demand from European countries as crops from Brazil are yet to come,” said Venkat Krishnan, general manager of General Commodities Ltd, India’s biggest coffee exporter. Arabica exports rose about 21% to 10,290 tonnes during the period, the Coffee Board official said.
Roasters and buyers, who were waiting for prices to come down, are now buying heavily from India after prices rose to multiple-year highs last week, Krishnan said.
Overseas Arabica prices hit a 10-year high last week, while Robusta prices jumped to a 12- year high. The unit value realization of coffee has increased to Rs99 per kg from Rs87 a year ago, due to rising international prices. In Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer, arrivals are expected from May. India’s fresh crops began in December.
“Robusta exports are likely to increase in March due to the peak harvesting period...about 90% of the total Robusta crop will come in March,” said an official with Tata Coffee Ltd.
In India, Robusta arrivals, which constitutes about 65% to the country’s total output, started in February.
Arabica coffee is used in premium coffee, while Robusta is typically blended with Arabica beans for a lower cost option for brewed coffee, or processed into instant coffee.
India exports coffee mainly to Italy, Germany and Russia. Italy accounts for 19% of the country’s exports, followed by the Russian Federation and Germany with 11% and 7%, respectively.