09:24 | 19/02/2016 Trade
(VEN) - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has predicted that Vietnam’s coffee exports during the 2015-2016 crop will increase 30 percent, which is a good piece of news. However, domestic coffee quality should be further improved in the future.
Harvesting coffee - Photo: Can Dung
Decreased coffee export
The sector exported about 1.2 million tonnes of coffee during the 2014-2015 crop and recorded US$2.6 billion in revenues, a 20 percent decrease in quantity and a 13 percent decrease in value compared to the previous crop. Coffee prices also dropped by US$300-400 per tonne to US$1,800 per tonne.
One of the major causes for these decreases according to the International Coffee Organization was that the global coffee demand decreased while major coffee exporters like Brazil and Colombia boosted their coffee exports by 33 percent and 11 percent respectively.
Another cause was that Arabica coffee proved a better choice than Robusta coffee given its lower prices and higher quality; meanwhile, more than 90 percent of Vietnam’s coffee exports were Robusta.
During the 2014-2015 coffee crop, Vietnam’s coffee producing hub of the Central Highlands produced 20 percent less coffee compared with the previous crop due to the effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon and the high percentage of unproductive coffee plants. Domestic coffee production is predicted to continue to shrink by 15-20 percent during the 2015-2016 crop.
Measures to boost coffee export
Vietnam is a large coffee producer but has often failed to meet importer requirements on coffee quality.
According to Vicofa President Luong Van Tu, Vicofa and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will coordinate the implementation of Decision 3417/QD-TT dated August 1, 2014 on sustainable coffee development until 2020 and has asked the State Bank of Vietnam to fund coffee production.
According to Deputy Director of MARD’s Department of Crops Production Le Van Duc, as of December 2015, Tay Nguyen and Binh Phuoc provinces had replanted coffee on 61,000ha, Lam Dong with 22,000ha, Dak Lak with more than 15,000ha and Dak Nong with more than 6,000ha.
To improve coffee quality, coffee farmers will be trained on how to meet 4C, Utz Certified and Alliance cultivation standards. For example, Dak Lak has had 40 percent of its coffee plantations and 60 percent of its coffee production meet 4C standards.
According Nguyen Xuan Thai, Director of the Dak Lak-based Thang Loi Co. Ltd, the company has invested some VND10 billion in coffee production and processing lines and has adopted Utz Certified coffee production models over 1,800ha. “We expect to see a good harvest, with better quality coffee beans,” he said./.
Quynh Nga & Lan Anh