Mixed bag

India’s coffee exports will likely fall in 2018-19 owing to lower carryover stocks, while sugar shipments will rise on the back of record output.

Published : Jul 18, 2018 12:30 IST

India’s coffee crop in 2018-19 (October/September year) is expected to rise to 5.5 million 60-kilogram bags from 5.42 million bags in the previous year, although coffee-growing regions were affected by heat and erratic rains, while sugar production is forecast to hit a record 33.8 million tonnes, leading to a trebling of exports from the previous year, the United States Department of Agriculture said in two separate reports recently.

Sugarcane production was estimated to rise to 415 million tonnes from a cultivated area of 5.2 million hectares, the report said. However, among global exporters, India will continue to lag Brazil (23.6 million tonnes) and Thailand (11 million tonnes) as the country's domestic consumption will continue to remain the highest in the world at 27.5 million tonnes.

In sugar production, Brazil is expected to take the top spot in 2018-19 with 34.2 million tonnes, followed by India, the European Union, Thailand and China.

Domestic coffee consumption is expected to rise on the back of greater soluble coffee consumption. Exports for 2018-19 are expected to fall to 5.42 million 60-kg bags from 6.22 million bags in the previous year owing to lower carryover stocks and uncertainty surrounding export incentives, according to the USDA.

The harvested area is expected to rise to 4,22,000 hectares from 4,00,000 hectares in the previous year.

In 2016-17, the top destinations for Indian coffee were Italy, Germany, Russia, Belgium and Turkey.

Coffee bean exports are expected to fall to 3.75 million bags from 4.31 million bags in the previous year, while soluble exports are forecast to fall to 1.67 million bags from 1.91 million bags, according to the USDA. Its report said that bean imports are also estimated to decline to 1.25 million bags from 1.3 million bags.

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