India exported nearly $ 720 million worth of coffee in 2020-2021, 42% of which was mainly Robusta coffee bean exports, according to a report by global trade finance firm Drip Capital, which cites the data. of the General Directorate of Foreign Trade. (DGFT).
According to the report, India’s coffee exports fell to an annual decline of 3% between 2011-12 and 2020-21. In fiscal 2012, coffee exports from India, the eighth largest producer and exporter of coffee by volume, amounted to $ 953 million.
According to the report, the fall can be partly attributed to Covid-19, during which India’s overall coffee exports hit their lowest level in nine years in terms of dollar value and fell 44%. in April 2020.
In addition, the crisis had a significant impact on shipments of green coffee beans in March 2020, which is the crucial period for the harvest and exports of Robusta coffee, he added.
“Even before the pandemic, the Indian coffee industry had stagnated for some time due to a growing need for added value at several stages of coffee processing. However, all is not gloomy. Recently, the popularity of specialty coffees like monsoon malabar Coffee for One is increasing so much that some coffee micro-properties and roasters are currently trying to take advantage of this new small-scale experimental opportunity, ”said the co-founder and CEO. of Drip Capital, Pushkar Mukewar.
In addition, Covid-19 has also resulted in a shift in consumption patterns and a shift in the range of products in demand, he said. “Worldwide, coffee machine sales have skyrocketed as coffee enthusiasts have turned to making the drink at home rather than venturing out,” he said. added.
Drip Capital’s report is based on publicly available data and information from the country’s coffee exporters.
The report further revealed that at the state level, Karnataka dominates the coffee industry, accounting for most of the exports, followed by Andhra Pradesh which exports more than 50 percent of instant coffee, which has a 31 percent share in the country’s export basket.
According to the report, Italy is India’s largest market, accounting for over 20 percent of coffee beans exports. While exports to the Middle East include Arabica coffee, Europeans prefer the stronger, bitter flavors of the Indian Robusta blend.
In addition, in FY20, Russia, Poland, the United States, Turkey and Malaysia imported more than 50% of the coffee preparations produced in India, worth nearly $ 141 million. dollars.
At present, India is the third largest exporter to Poland in terms of coffee preparations, Indian exporters are expected to continue to focus on building a significant market share in Poland and the United States for the instant coffee.
“Indian coffee traders must also tighten their grip on the Russian market and compete with Brazil and Germany for the same price. Our research has also shown low demand for Indian coffee in Italy and Turkey, possibly because Italy prefers to buy African coffee relatively cheaper. coffee from Uganda and Turkey wishing to diversify its imports. Therefore, it is time for India to move away from saturated markets and venture into new geographies, ”Mukewar said.
Overall, although demand for instant and specialty coffee is increasing, exports of Robusta coffee are stagnating and Arabica coffee exports are declining, he said.
With a little added value and the help of the Coffee Board and the government, Indian coffee traders have the potential to develop their niche in the global coffee market, he added.