Coffee Annual

An Expert's View about Tree and Bush Fruits and Nuts in Costa Rica

Posted on: 27 May 2012

Costa Rica's coffee production increased 13.6 percent to 1,796,000 60 kg. bags in 2011/2012.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 5/15/2012 GAIN Report Number: Costa Rica Coffee Annual Coffee Production, Consumption and Trade Approved By: Kelly Stange, Agricultural Attaché Prepared By: Victor Gonzalez, Agricultural Specialist Report Highlights: Costa Rica's coffee production increased 13.6 percent to 1,796,000 60 kg. bags in 2011/2012. Production is expected to reach 1.8 million 60 kg. bags in 2012/2013. Producers have been able to improve fertilization and other agricultural practices as a result of high coffee prices. Executive Summary: Costa Rica’s 2011/2012 coffee production increased to 1,796,000 60 bags (Note: for the purpose of this report bags refers to 60 kg. bags) as compared to 1,581,219 bags during the previous crop year. Higher prices during the last few crops have allowed producers to improved fertilization and cultural practices in their farms resulting in higher productivity. However, the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFE), estimates that 40% of the plantations are over 20 years old and need renovation. ICAFE designed and initiated a renovation program in coordination with the local banking system in 2010. The program initially faced obstacles but up to this year, the banks have approved $5.2 million to farmers for renovation. ICAFE expects to see results of the program starting in 2013. Commodities: Select Production: Coffee production increased 13.6 percent to 1,796,211 bags in 2011/2012 from 1,581,219 bags in 2010/2011. Although lower production was previously expected as a result of a strong rainy period during October of 2011, the effects of the rains were mild. Improved fertilization and agricultural practices including rapid attention to fungal diseases also resulted in higher production. Although the cyclicality of coffee production would lead to expect a lower 2012/2013 crop, production is forecast to reach 1.8 million bags. The forecast is based on the observed flowering of the plantations and the increased investment in the farms by producers in terms of fertilization. Coffee production continues to face competition for area, primarily from urbanization but also from other crops such as pineapples, depending on the production area. Also, even though there are no academic or formal studies on this issue, it is believed that the sector faces a generational period of change, where many producers are becoming older and the new generations are not interested in remaining in the coffee business. Consumption: Coffee sales from the domestic crop amounted to 281,850 bags during the 2010/2011 marketing year and are expected to reach 275,000 bags in 2011/2012. Assuming that most of the green coffee that is being imported is for local consumption, and based on information from local roasters, consumption for 2010/2011 was 370,000 bags and it would reach 410,000 bags in 2011/2012. Local consumption has experienced wide fluctuations in the last few years. The reasons are not totally clear at the moment, but industry sources indicate the issue is partly related to the way roasters buy coffee in the local market. Only recently did roasters begin to make purchase decisions in advance of the crop to compete more effectively for the limited volume of the Costa Rican crop. This situation may result in higher sales for domestic consumption as most roasters would rather purchase local coffee than imported coffee. Costa Rica’s per capita consumption remains one of the highest at about 4.2 kg/person/year. Roasters have continued to import lower cost coffee mostly from Guatemala and El Salvador, although import volume may decline in 2012/2013 because local production is expected to increase. According to producers, roasters did not prepare appropriately for the increase in international prices. According to data from ICAFE, the price of coffee for domestic consumption has been increasing during the last few crop years relative to the price of coffee for export. In the past, the price of coffee for domestic consumption was always lower than the price of coffee for export. This change signals that roasters have had to compete with higher prices to obtain high quality coffee locally. Trade: Costa Rica exported 1,217,557 bags of coffee in 2009/2010 and 1,224,387 bags in 2010/2011. Most of the coffee was exported to the United States (56.4%), Belgium (12.6%), and Germany (4.75%). Coffee exports to the United States as a percentage of total exports have grown significantly in the past decade from 29.8 percent of the total in 1999/2000 to 56.4 percent in 2009/2010. Export volume has declined sharply during the last 10 years. During 2000/2001 Costa Rica exported 2,197,570 bags, as compared to 1,224,387 bags in 2010/2011. Also, export patterns have changed. Costa Rica used to export a higher share to Europe and Japan in the past. Although coffee has declined to third place in terms of the export value of agricultural products, it is still an important producer of foreign exchange. Coffee exports amounted to $383.5 million during the 2010/2011 crop year. Bananas and pineapples now surpass coffee in terms of export value. According to preliminary data from ICAFE, the average FOB export price for the 2010/2011 coffee crop was $295.15 as compared to $210.63 per bag for the 2009/2010 crop. The average export price has improved since the 2001/2002 crop year. However, some producers argue that because the Costa Rican currency, the colon, has appreciated against the U.S. dollar, they have not enjoyed the full benefit of the price increase. Costa Rica Coffee, Green 60 kg bags Time Period 2010/2011 Exports for: U.S. 691,604 Others Belgium 154,751 Germany 58,187 Italy 47,060 Netherlands 39,820 Canada 39,101 Japan 38,013 Total for Others 376,932 Others not Listed 155,851 Grand Total 1,224,387 Production, Supply and Demand Data Statistics: Coffee, Green Costa Rica 2010/2011 2011/2012 2012/2013 Market Year Begin: Oct 2010 Market Year Begin: Oct 2011 Market Year Begin: Oct 2012 USDA Official New Post USDA Official New Post USDA Official New Post Area Planted 98 98 0 98 98 Area Harvested 93 93 0 93 93 Bearing Trees 384 384 0 384 384 Non-Bearing Trees 46 46 0 46 46 Total Tree Population 430 430 0 430 430 Beginning Stocks 125 125 170 197 179 Arabica Production 1,575 1,581 1,640 1,796 1,800 Robusta Production 0 0 0 0 0 Other Production 0 0 0 0 0 Total Production 1,575 1,581 1,640 1,796 1,800 Bean Imports 175 90 150 146 120 Roast & Ground Imports 0 0 0 0 0 Soluble Imports 0 0 0 0 0 Total Imports 175 90 150 146 120 Total Supply 1,875 1,796 1,960 2,139 2,099 Bean Exports 1,255 1,224 1,390 1,550 1,600 Rst-Grnd Exp. 0 0 0 0 0 Soluble Exports 0 0 0 0 0 Total Exports 1,255 1,224 1,390 1,550 1,600 Rst,Ground Dom. Consum 445 370 430 405 410 Soluble Dom. Cons. 5 5 5 5 5 Domestic Use 450 375 435 410 415 Ending Stocks 170 197 135 179 84 Total Distribution 1,875 1,796 1,960 2,139 2,099 1000 HA, MILLION TREES, 1000 60 KG BAGS
Posted: 27 May 2012