Shortage of Robusta Coffee bean due to flood in Kerala; hitting farmer and exporters


Aug 24, 2018 

Kerala and Karnataka are coffee growing areas have been hard hit by torrential rain and floods and this has led to the shortage of Robusta beans, hitting hard exporters and local producers.

The Robusta bean production accounts for majority of coffee exports from the country and is the main ingredient for instant coffee. As a matter of fact, even last year there was 10-20 per cent  shortage of Robusta which was far lesser then the Coffee Board’s projection of 2.21 lakh tonnes. The severe weather is expected to pull down the crop for the next harvest slated to take place by December. The Arabica crop hasn’t been affected much.

Heavy rains have caused widespread damage to coffee in parts of Kodagu in Karnataka and Wayanad in Kerala. The shortage has already increased the price of Robusta in the market by more than Rs. 10 per kg to Rs. 135-140 per kg now. Further rise is expected in the coming months. A good sunshine though can help in recovering the Robusta bean. A clear picture may emerge only by the end of September.

Higher price of coffee may hit exports, which are already sluggish. Coffee exports in the calendar year 2018 may fall 10 per cent. Shipments may decline in the coming months as the local prices are higher than international prices. Also absence of much carryover stock is also a source of worry for exporters.

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