Global consumption of coffee is likely to climb by 1% to 2% a year through the end of the decade, according to International Coffee Organisation Executive Director Vanusia Nogueira, who estimated about 25 million more 60 kg bags would be needed over the next eight years.
“We are more conservative now for a short-term projection,” Nogueira said during a conference in Hanoi held by the Vietnam Coffee-Cocoa Association, referring to all the events the world is facing, including high inflation in Europe. The ICO’s previous forecast that global consumption will rise 3.3% per year on average in the next four to five decades was too “optimistic,” she added.
The global industry will reach a balance in coffee supply and demand in the next two or three years, from the current deficit, Nogueira said in an interview with Bloomberg.
The world needs more of both arabica and robusta beans, but increases in robusta production and demand will be higher, she said. Traditional arabica producers are trying to grow robusta amid global warming while roasters have also tried to add more cheaper robusta in their blends. “If you have robusta with higher quality, consumers won’t feel a big difference in the blends.”
Many markets are looking for fine robusta, Nogueira said at the conference on Sunday. Vietnam is doing its homework on expanding to high-quality robusta production “quite well,” she said, recalling her surprise on tasting three sets of “very good” coffee cups during a visit a day earlier with a group of international guests to a coffee shop owned by the nation’s second largest coffee exporter Vinh Hiep Co.
The ICO doesn’t see Vietnam’s global dominance of robusta exports being hurt by Brazil’s increased production of conilon, because the extra output is to supply the South American country’s soluble industry, the world’s largest, according to Nogueira.
She said coffee-growing nations need to boost consumption domestically for better prices and benefits to their economies.
Vietnam sees domestic coffee consumption rising 5% to 10% in coming years, from the current 300,000 tons, which comprises 170,000 tons used for instant coffee production, Do Ha Nam, vice head of the country’s coffee association, said during the same conference.
Nam, who is also chairman of the nation’s top shipper Intimex Group, projected shipments from Vietnam dropping in 2022-23 because of lower production and insignificant carry-over stocks from the previous season.
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