Indian coffee crop may rise 5% next season, says USDA

-CB Edit Desk 

The USDA has forecast a five per cent increase in India’s coffee output for the next crop year 2021-22 starting October, as reported by Business Line. The USDA India Post, in its latest estimates, has pegged the coffee output at 5.41 million bags of 60 kg (3.246 lakh tonnes) against previous year’s 5.15 million bags (3.09 lakh tonnes).

Factors such as the above normal pre-monsoon rains coupled with expectations of a normal monsoon are expected to improve yields, especially for Robusta in major growing regions, it said.

USDA expects Robusta output to increase to 4.05 million bags (2.43 lakh lakh tonnes) compared with 3.75 million bags (2.25 lakh tonnes). However, USDA sees a further decline in India’s Arabica output to 1.36 million bags (81,600 tonnes) over previous year’s 1.40 million bags (85,800 tonnes).

USDA said higher yields for both Arabica (one per cent) and Robusta (eight per cent) crops are expected due to adequate moisture as a result of the above normal rainfall. The pre-monsoon rainfall from March-till May 4 was 28 per cent higher in the key growing regions of Karnataka, which accounts for two-thirds of India’s coffee output. Similarly, the pre-monsoon rainfall was higher by 31 per cent in Kerala, the second largest coffee-producing State.

USDA’s projections of increase in Robusta output for 2021-22 is broadly in line with the industry expectations, said Ramesh Rajah, President, Coffee Exporters Association. 2021-22 is an ‘on year’ for the robusta crop and the current crop was also good, he said.

Export prospects bright

India’s coffee exports for 2021-22, USDA said, are estimated at 5.68 million bags (3.40 lakh tonnes) due to robust demand from Europe and the United States. This export increase will lead to tighter stocks, the USDA said.

Coffee imports for re-exports are also seen higher at 1.42 million bags (85,200 tonnes) compared with 1.39 million bags (83,400 tonnes) in 2020-21.

USDA estimates India’s domestic coffee consumption to be marginally higher at 1.2 million bags (72,000 tonnes) during 2021-22, driven by at-home consumption as the hospitality sector remains closed due to Covid-19 lockdown measures. The domestic consumption stood at 1.18 million bags (70,800 tonnes) during 2020-21, USDA said.

The state-run Coffee Board had pegged the 2020-21 crop in its post-monsoon estimates at 3.42 lakh tonnes comprising of 2.40 lakh tonnes of Robusta and 1.02 lakh tonnes of Arabicas.

The Board is yet to announce the final crop estimates for 2020-21, while estimates for the next season are likely to be made after the monsoon ends in September.

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