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Global coffee exports down 0.4 percent in October 2023

KAMPALA, December 12, 2023 – Global exports of green beans in October 2023 declined by 0.4 percent to 8.57 million bags, compared with 8.61mln bags in the same month of the previous year, according to the latest report released by the International Coffee Organisation [ICO].

ICO in its Coffee Market Report November 2023, attributes the downturn in the global exports to the Robustas, the only one of the four groups to start coffee year 2023/24 with negative growth.

The report says the Brazilian Naturals made a strong start to the new coffee year, with exports increasing by 10.0% to 4.02mln bags from 3.66mln bags in October 2022. “This is the second-highest volume exported in the month of October on record, just behind the 3.9 million bags shipped in 2020,” the report says.

The report adds: “Brazil was the main driver of this strong start, with the origin’s total green bean exports up 23.0% to 4.08 million bags in October 2023, which is also the country’s second-highest volume of exports in the month of October to be documented.”

Exports of the Colombian Milds increased by 0.2 percent to 1.031mln bags in October 2023 from 1.03mln bags in October 2022. “The near-stagnant start to the new coffee year was due to the conflation of the continued downturn in Colombia, the largest producer and export of the Colombian Milds, and the strong start made by Kenya and Tanzania, the two other origins that make up this coffee group,” says the report.

Shipments of the Other Milds decreased by 1.8 percent in October 2023 to 1.59mln bags from 1.62mln bags in the same period last year. The main negative contributions came from Brazil [down 66.2 percent and 78,719 bags] and Papua New Guinea [down 34.3 percent and 53,737 bags], while Honduras provided the largest positive contribution [up 28.9 percent and 138,993 bags].

“Of the four coffee groups, the Robustas have recorded the highest contraction in the new coffee year to date, with exports falling by 8.0 percent to 2.88 million bags from 3.14 million bags. Vietnam, the largest Robusta producer in the world, was the driver of the sharp downturn, with exports of Robusta green beans down 45.2 percent to 0.69 million bags in October 2023 from 1.26 million bags in October 2022.”

Exports by regions

According to the report, in October 2023, South America’s exports of all forms of coffee increased by 16.4 percent to 5.95mln bags. Brazil was the main driving force of the double-digit growth of the region, having shipped 4.37mln bags in October 2023, a jump of 21.7 percent. Peru provided added support, with its exports increasing by 28.9 percent to 0.62mln bags from 0.48mln bags in October 2022.

Meanwhile, exports of all forms of coffee from Asia & Oceania totalled 2.05mln bags in October 2023, decreasing by 26.7 percent. Vietnam, the world’s second-largest producer and exporter of coffee, was the main driver of the region’s sharp downturn, with total exports down 44.7 percent to 0.75mln bags in October 2023 from 1.36mln bags in October 2022, says the report.

The report says: “This was the lowest volume of exports since the 0.7 million bags shipped in October 2008. A shortage of exportable materials within Vietnam, due to the lower-than-expected harvest in coffee year 2022/23, a delay in supply from the current coffee year’s harvest and a very strong export performance in the first nine months of the previous coffee year, explain the sharp downturn.”


Exports of all forms of coffee from Africa decreased by 1.0 percent to 1.07mln bags in October 2023 from 1.08mln bags in October 2022. Ethiopia [–13.5 percent], Rwanda [–34.8 percent] and Cameroon [–57.4 percent] were the three main origins making a negative contribution to the region’s exports, in absolute terms, while Burundi [200.0 percent], Côte d’Ivoire [40.9 percent], Kenya [31.4 percent] and Uganda [2.8 percent] were the main origins making positive contributions.

ICO quotes the Uganda Coffee Development Authority as saying the promising export performance in October 2023 was due to adequate supply from a good crop harvest in the South-Western region and the prevailing good prices on the global scene which prompted exporters to release their stocks.

In Ethiopia, the ICO report says contract disputes arising out of a mismatch between local purchasing prices and the global market prices, first reported in the middle of coffee year 2022/23, continue to negatively impact export volume in the new coffee year.

On the other hand, in October 2023, exports of all forms of coffee from Mexico & Central America were up 0.4 percent to 0.459mln bags as compared with 0.457mln in October 2022. The performances of individual origins belied the less-than-dynamic growth of the region, with very strong negative and positive growth rates registered in October: Costa Rica [212.7 percent], El Salvador [69.6 percent], Guatemala [18.0 percent] and Nicaragua [15.6 percent] on the expansion side against the decreasing Dominican Republic [–80.1 percent], Honduras [–39.2 percent] and Mexico [–11.1 percent].

Total exports of soluble coffee increased by 16.9 percent in October 2023 to 0.91mln bags from 0.78mln bags in October 2022. Soluble coffee’s share in the total exports of all forms of coffee for the year to date was 10.6 percent in October 2023, up from 9.0 percent for the same period a year ago.

Brazil is the largest exporter of soluble coffee, having shipped 0.28mln bags in October 2023. Exports of roasted beans were down 20.4 percent in October 2023 to 49,185 bags, as compared with 61,781 bags in October 2022.

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