Coffee is one of the most precious commodities on world markets. Over the years it has been second only to oil as a source of exchanged. Coffee growing, processing, trading, transport and marketing provide work for millions of people all over the world. Coffee is a crucial part of the economy and politics of many developing countries; for many of the world’s less-industrialised nations, coffee exports form the lion’s share of their income, reaching some 80%.
A few figures.
- Production. The 2008/09 coffee season saw total production that could be considered as on the rise compared to the current level of 127 million sacks. This revision is linked to the rise in positive exports from Vietnam, which already exceeded 14.6 million sacks in the first nine months of the coffee year (October 2008 - June 2009) for an average monthly export rate of 1.6 million sacks. Taking exports for the last three months into account, the total for 2008/09 may reach 19 million sacks.
- Prices. The fall in coffee prices recorded in June continued to fall in the first half of July before showing signs of recovery in second half. After recording a level of 238.87€ per kilo, on 10 July, The indicative ICO coffee price progressively readjusted to reach 258.96 cents on 31 July. However, the monthly average for the weighted ICO price fell 5.17%, going from 261.91 cents per kilo in June to 248.38 cents in July.
- Exports. Exports from all exporting countries were 8.5 million sacks in June 2009, taking the overall export total for the first nine months of the coffee year to 74.3 million sacks, as against the 72 of the same period in 2007/08, which means a 3.1% increase. Exports from Vietnam reached 14.6 million sacks in the first nine months of the 2008/09 coffee year; as for Colombia, export figures for the same period indicate 7.1 million.
- Consumption. At world levels, annual consumption levels are estimated at 128.5 million sacks compared to the 127 for 2007. For the year 2009, preliminary estimates suggest world consumption figures to be in the region of 129 million, which would seem to indicate that the world economic recession has not affected coffee consumption in general, although the data collected seems to show a change in the consumption trend, with more people tending to drink their coffee at home.