Indian Coffee exporters may confront a second back to back awful year as early crop estimates for 2019 indicate a shortfall, due to heavy rains in Karnataka, the top producer, and Kerala over the last few months have caused extensive damage to Coffee plants.
The difference is expected to widen until December, when harvesting for the new crop begins. Still, exporters are expecting better shipments from January, which could be disappointing as supply problems may continue in 2019. It may force the buyers to shift to other sources. Vietnam is already a big threat.
Coffee exports at about 4 lakh tonnes in 2017 were 12 per cent higher from a year earlier. In the current year, shipments are expected to go down by 10-15 per cent because of a supply crunch, and lower prices in other countries.
India exports 70 per cent of its Coffee production, of which robusta accounts for the lion’s share. Although the Coffee Board projected an output of 3.16 lakh tonnes in 2017-18, growers said production would likely be less than 3 lakh tonnes, with robusta worse affected than arabica beans.