Coffee surplus

Coffee year 2018/19 marks second consecutive year of surplus

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) estimates a second year of surplus, with world coffee production in coffee year 2018/19 to be 3.7 per cent higher than in the previous year at 168.87 million 60-kilogram bags. However, at 164.82 million bags, world consumption for coffee year 2018/19 is estimated to have only grown 2.1 per cent.

This means coffee supply has exceeded demand by 4.05 million bags.

Output rose in all regions except for Mexico and Central America, where the harvest declined by 0.8 per cent to 21.47 million bags. Nearly half of the world’s coffee was produced in South America, where production is estimated 4.8 per cent higher at 80.95 million bags in coffee year 2018/19. Production grew by 4.6 per cent in Asia and Oceania to 48.46 million bags, while output in Africa rose by 1.9 per cent to 17.99 million bags.

Output of Arabica has increased 1.8 per cent to 102.68 million bags and Robusta grew 6.7 per cent to 66.04 million bags. The larger supply in coffee year 2018/19 is reflected in increased shipments in the first eleven months of the coffee year, during which global exports increased by 9.2 per cent to 120.28 million bags, surpassing the total volume shipped in 2017/18.

This ICO says this surplus is a major factor in the low prices this season, with the ICO composite indicator only averaging 100.47 US cents per pound in coffee year 2018/19.

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The ICO composite indicator fell to 97.74 US cents per pound in September 2019, increasing 1.7 per cent from August. It reached its lowest point of 94.01 US cents per pound in the month on 5 September. It peaked at 100.29 US cents per pound on 16 September, which is the only day that the indicator exceeded 100 US cents per pound in the month.

Prices for the Arabica group indicators rose in September 2019, while the Robusta indicator fell to its lowest monthly average since April 2010, decreasing to 70.64 US cents per pound in September 2019.

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