Coffee producers advised to focus on quality for sustainable export

HANOI: While Vietnam’s coffee industry is on track for another record export year, driven by rising prices due to supply shortages, experts say it’s time for the industry to focus on quality to increase added value and export sustainably.

According to the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry, Vietnam was expected to earn US$4.2bil from exporting 1.7 million tonnes of coffee this year, a new high after setting the record at more than US$4bil last year, providing a firm foundation for the export target of US$6bil by 2030.

Pham Quang Anh, director of the Mercantile Exchange of Vietnam’s Information Centre, said Vietnamese coffee exports could reach a record level this year thanks to domestic and global prices climbing to their highest levels in the past 15 years due to scarce supply, low coffee reserves, and a strong increase in global demand for Robusta.

Statistics from the General Department of Customs showed that Vietnam’s coffee exports reached 1.266 million tonnes worth US$3.16bil from January to September, a drop of 7.3% in volume but an increase of 1.9% in value over the same period last year.

The average export price was US$2,499 per tonne during this period, 9.9% higher than the same period last year.

The average price in September was US$3,151 per tonne, 3.2% higher than August and 29.6% higher than one year ago.

Despite strong exports, Vietnam’s coffee industry faces uncertainty in maintaining exports at high levels in the long run because the exports remain heavily dependent on rising prices due to supply shortages, not on the added value of coffee products.

This fact encouraged the coffee industry to shift its focus to improve product quality and aligning with market taste trends, especially in the major coffee consumption markets, which accounted for around half of global coffee imports, including the European Union and the United States. — Viet Nam News/ANN

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