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“The decline in exports was mainly due to weak demand from European nations like Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal as buyers were looking for cheaper coffees,” coffee exporters said.
A sharp drop in the prices of Arabica during the last fiscal also added to the decline in exports as large number of farmers have withdrawn their sales, exporters said. Arabica prices have declined as much as 20-25%.
ICE Arabica coffee futures for December delivery settled down 1.4% at $1.1565 a pound. “Arabica coffee prices ended within a cent of a more than four-year low on Thursday as big supplies of the beans and tepid demand encouraged selling. Prices were down almost 20% for the year, roasters appear to be waiting for even lower prices due to large supplies particularly from Brazil. LIFFE robusta coffee futures hit an almost three-year low on last Thursday, as expectations of a large crop from top grower Vietnam weigh on prices. LIFFE robusta coffee futures for November delivery settled $43 lower at $1,663 a tonne,” the Coffee Board said.
The outlook for India’s exports during 2013-14 is also not very promising. The Coffee Board has said production in 2013-14 would be at least 10% lower than post-blossom estimates. The Board had said production would stand at 3,47,000 tonnes in its post-blossom estimates earlier this year. In 2012-13, India had recorded production of 3,18,200 tonnes.
“Based on the conditions that prevailed in February and March, when the growing regions received good blossom showers, we had estimated we would achieve 3,47,000 tonnes. However, due to a drought in the two subsequent months and the heavy rains in June, July and August, we anticipate a drop of about 10% drop, against the post-blossom estimates,” Coffee Board Chairman Jawaid Akhtar had told Business Standard earlier this month.
This means for 2013-14, the country's bean production could be about 3,12,000 tonnes. However, growers estimate it at 70,000-2,90,000 tonnes. The lower production will, however, impact the country’s exports for the next crop year as well, exporters added.