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Coffee exports from Africa dropped 13.5 percent in November 2023

KAMPALA, January 4, 2024 - Exports of all forms of coffee from Africa decreased by 13.5 percent to 1.01 million bags in November 2023 from 1.16mln bags in November 2022, according to the International Coffee Organisation [ICO].

“For the first two months of coffee year 2023/24, exports totalled 2.06 million bags as compared with 2.24 million bags in coffee year 2022/23, down 8.1 percent,” says ICO in its Coffee Market Report December 2023.

According to the report, this is the third consecutive month of negative growth for the region and it affected most origins, including all the major producers whose combined exports decreased by 11.4 percent to 0.93mln bags from 1.05mln bags in November 2022.

It is speculated that the surge in Brazil’s Robusta exports is crowding out traditional exporters of the group from the market, thus broadly affecting Africa as a whole, which is a largely Robusta-producing region.

“Uganda, the largest producer and exporter of Robusta coffee in Africa, was also affected by a delayed harvest season which negatively impacted the supply availability,” says the report.

Meanwhile, the report shows global green bean exports in November 2023 totalled 9.79mln bags, as compared with 9.1mln bags in the same month of the previous year, up 7.6 percent. “As a result, the cumulative total for coffee year 2023/24 to November is 18.39 million bags, as compared with 17.7 million bags over the same period a year ago, up 3.9 percent.”

In November 2023, South America’s exports of all forms of coffee increased by 24.7 percent to 6.07mln bags. The source of the strong positive growth is mainly Brazil, which saw its exports increase by 21.1 percent to 4.34mln bags from 3.58mln bags in November 2022.

In November 2023, exports of all forms of coffee from Mexico & Central America were up 15.7 percent to 0.41mln bags, as compared with 0.35mln in November 2022. As a result, total exports are up 11.0 percent for October 2023 to November 2023 at 0.9mln bags, as compared with 0.81mln bags for the same period a year ago. “Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico are the three main origins behind the region’s double-digit growth in November, with their respective exports up 114.0 percent, 29.7 percent and 11.8 percent.”

Exports of all forms of coffee from Asia & Oceania decreased by 18.0 percent to 3.12mln bags in November 2023. November’s downturn was mainly due to Indonesia, with exports down 45.2 percent to 0.49mln bags from 0.89mln bags in November 2022. “These are the lowest November exports since the 0.2 million bags shipped in 2018.”

The report attributes the decrease can be attributed to a reduced harvest in coffee year 2023/24, which is estimated to have fallen by 16.6 percent to 10.0mln bags from 11.98mln bags in coffee year 2022/23 on the back of excessive rains that damaged cherries in April–May 2023.

Soluble coffee exports

According to the report, total exports of soluble coffee decreased by 25.4 percent in November 2023 to 0.77mln bags from 1.03mln bags in November 2022. In the first two months of coffee year 2023/24, a total of 1.75mln bags of soluble coffee were exported, representing a decrease of 3.0 percent from the 1.8mln bags exported in the same period during the previous coffee year.

Soluble coffee’s share in the total exports of all forms of coffee for the year to date was 8.6 percent in November 2023, down from 9.2 percent in the same period a year ago. Brazil is the largest exporter of soluble coffee, having shipped 0.24mn bags in November 2023.

Exports of roasted beans were down 15.5 percent in November 2023 to 54,379 bags, as compared with 64,324 bags in November 2022. The cumulative total for coffee year 2023/24 to November 2023 was 0.1mln bags, as compared with 0.13mln bags in same period a year ago.

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