New Delhi: The country exported 19% less coffee during January-August this year at about 1.33 lakh tonnes due to high prices of the Indian bean, especially when the demand is low because of the global economic crisis.
India, the largest coffee exporter in Asia after Vietnam and Indonesia, had shipped abroad 1.64 lakh tonnes of coffee between January and August last year, according to the data compiled by the state-owned Coffee Board.
“The prices of the Indian coffee have surged following low output in the last season and even exceeded the global rates, making exports a less profitable option,” All India Coffee Exporters’ Association president Ramesh Rajah said.
The country harvested 2.62 lakh tonnes of coffee last year, 5% less than what the Board had estimated.
Moreover, importing nations, still reeling under the financial crisis, are also looking at alternate avenues like Vietnam and Indonesia for purchase, he added.
The Indian coffee is quoting higher in the range of 10-30% across varieties than that of some other exporting nations, according to Rajah. The country exports about 80% of its total coffee output.
Arabica exports dipped by about 40% to 23,495 tonnes so far this year from 38,542 tonnes in the year-ago period, the Board said.
The shipment of robusta coffee, which has twice the amount of caffeine compared with arabica, also declined to 73,367 tonnes compared with 83,027 tonnes during the review period, it said. Similarly, the export of instant coffee fell to 35,878 tonnes from 42,985 tonnes, it added.
However, the overseas shipment of value-added products rose marginally to 16,114 tonnes. India exports coffee to Italy, Russia, Germany, Belgium and the Arab countries.