Exporters see a decline in coffee harvest, Order books look thin

Coffee exporters see 2023.-24. The October domestic harvest is slightly lower than last year, and the production of Arabica coffee is affected by unstable weather.  “We expect production of arabica  to be around 80,000 tonnes and robusta around 2.7 lakh tonnes”, said Ramesh Rajah, president of the Coffee Exporters Association of India.  According to the Coffee Board’s final estimate for  2022-23, 1,000,000 tonnes (lt) of arabica and  2.52 lt of robusta, or a total of 3.52 lt, were produced. For the current year 2023-2024, the government projected a production of 3.74 liters in its preliminary post-bloom estimate, which includes about 1.13 liters of arabica and 2.61 liters of robusta. Government forecasts may be revised downwards as production is affected by erratic weather – unseasonable and erratic rains combined with prolonged dry spells during the  monsoon season this year.  

Effect of weather   

 Farmers in Karnataka, which produces more than 70 percent of the country’s coffee output, are seeing a smaller harvest this year due to weather conditions. “Irregular weather and rainfall  have a huge impact on the yield and quality of plantations”, Mahesh Shasidhar, former president of the Karnataka Planters Association (KPA), said recently. He estimates that production in 2023-24 will be  about 5-10 percent below the Coffee Board’s final estimate of last year.  However, Upas coffee committee chairman Ajoy Thipaiah said the yield could be  25-30 percent less than the Coffee Board’s original estimate of 3.74 liters, based on  prevailing crop conditions and weather. Most growers say the yield trend will become clearer  as the current Arabica crop, advanced by more than a month due to early flower showers, progresses. Harvesting of early ripening arabica has started in Karnataka, but the current  rain is  affecting the quality as the ripe fruits are rotting on the plant due to rain.

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