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Global coffee exports rose 12.6 percent in December 2023

KAMPALA, February 8, 2024 – According to the latest report released by the International Coffee Organisation [ICO], global green bean exports in December 2023 hit 10.87 million bags, as compared with 9.66mln bags in the same month of the previous year, up 12.6 percent.

The ICO report says these are the largest December exports on record, beating the previous record set in 2021 of 10.79mln bags.

“Despite this, the magnitude of the latest increase in exports of green beans is a more reflection of a favourable base effect and a comparative normalisation of supply conditions than a reflection of fundamental demand. As a result, the cumulative total for coffee year 2023/24 to December is 29.23mln bags, as compared with 27.37mln bags over the same period a year ago, up 6.8 percent.”

Regional exports

In December 2023, South America’s exports of all forms of coffee increased by 25.4 percent to 5.72mln bags, according to the report. The sources of the strong positive growth are Brazil and Peru, which saw their exports increase by 31.7 percent and 48.3 percent, respectively, in December 2023. For Brazil, a favourable base effect, the –20.5 percent growth rate observed in December 2022, and the continued supply issues in Asia & Oceania are the main drivers for the double-digit growth, especially concerning the Robustas, for which the country has been acting as a swing-producer in recent months.

In Peru, the report says, a return to normality of both weather and social conditions is the underlying causes of its strong positive expansion. In December 2022, exports were negatively marked by weather-driven elongation of the harvesting period and intermittent rains which hampered the drying process, reducing the supply of coffee beans for coffee year 2022/23.

Meanwhile, a series of political protests against the government of President Dina Boluarte and the Congress of Peru led to logistical issues. These events led the December 2022 export levels to fall by 41.5 percent, resulting in the lowest December level since 2015.


Exports of all forms of coffee from Africa decreased by 0.5 percent to 0.94mln bags in December 2023. For the first three months of coffee year 2023/24, exports totalled 3.05mln bags as compared with 3.18mln bags in coffee year 2022/23, down 4.2 percent.

“The relatively shallow downturn of the region belies the dynamic performances of the major origins, with exports from Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and Tanzania increasing by 52.0 percent, 40.8 percent and 56.6 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the biggest exporter in Africa, Uganda, saw its exports volume fall by 4.2 percent.”

Mexico & Central America

In December 2023, exports of all forms of coffee from Mexico & Central America were up 6.0 percent to 0.63mln bags, as compared with 0.6mln in December 2022, states the report. As a result, total exports are up 3.6 percent for October to December 2023 at 1.46mln bags, as compared with 1.41mln bags for the same period a year ago.

“Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico are the three main origins behind the region’s positive growth, with their respective exports up 30.9 percent, 8.6 percent and 31.2 percent. However, lined up against this were 37.7 percent, 61.2 percent and 14.4 percent decreases for Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua, respectively, hence the region’s overall relatively weak positive growth rate in December 2023.”

Asia & Oceania

The report shows exports of all forms of coffee from Asia & Oceania increased by 5.7 percent to 4.88mln bags in December 2023. “All three of the region’s major origins contributed to the overall expansion, with Indonesia, India and Vietnam’s exports increasing by 8.5 percent, 3.9 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively. For Indonesia, December 2023 was the first positive growth since August 2023, coming in the face of the origin’s well-documented issues with supply.”

Meanwhile, the harvest for coffee year 2023/24 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. The relatively strong growth rate was due to soluble coffee, exports of which grew by over 12 folds to 0.48mln bags in December 2023 from 0.04mln bags in December 2022.

World Coffee production

World coffee production increased by 0.1 percent to 168.2mln bags in coffee year 2022/23. “The stagnant growth rate belies the tremendous changes at the regional level, with the coffee world neatly split between the expanding Americas and the shrinking rest of the world,” the report says.

World coffee consumption

According to the report, world coffee consumption is continuing to resolve through the issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the consumption trend following an established pattern in response to an external shock. The expectation for coffee year 2022/23 was for a smaller positive growth rate; however, world coffee consumption actually recorded a decrease of 2.0 percent to 173.1mln bags.

“Consumption in coffee year 2022/23 did not faithfully follow the established pattern due to the impact of the high cost of living, falling disposable incomes, and a long stocks drawdown. Despite coffee being relatively inelastic, the challenging global economic environment would have had a negative impact on its consumption,” says the report.

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