Where Does Your Coffee Come From?

Americans love their coffee. Although Northern European countries like Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands drink more coffee per capita the larger US population times a high consumption rate results in the US drinking more coffee than any other nation. Where does all of this coffee come from? The only state in the US that grows coffee is Hawaii so the US gets her coffee from the topical coffee belt that in the western hemisphere starts in Mexico and extends to Brazil. The two biggest producers in this region are Brazil which is the biggest producer of coffee overall and Colombia which is the biggest producer of Arabica coffee.

US Green Coffee Imports

The United States Department of Agriculture June 2022 pdf covering world markets and trade for coffee reports that the majority of imported unroasted coffee is Arabica of which the most is imported from Brazil followed by Colombia. Imports from these two nations have increased at the expense of imports from Mexico and Central America mostly because production has increased substantially in the two biggest South American producers.

Imports of Arabica Versus Robusta

Over the last decade the US has imported increasing amounts of Arabica coffee at the expense of Robusta with Arabica going from 68% of imports to 80% during those years. Because of inflation in the coffee market as well as everywhere else, Arabica prices are outpacing Robusta prices causing the USDA to speculate that US coffee roasters might start buying more Robusta and selling blends of Arabica and Robusta to remain competitive in pricing. Over the last decade Arabica imports went from 16.1 million bags a year to 19.4 million bags while Robusta fell from 3.5 million bags to 2.6 million bags.

Increased Coffee Imports from Brazil and Colombia

Over the last decade Brazil has increased its US market share from 29% to 36% while Colombia’s market share has gone from 17% to 23%. During this decade Mexico fell from an 8% share to 4% and Central America as a group fell from 25% to 23%. Because much of this reshuffling of market share came from increased Colombian and Brazilian production there could well be a trend reversal if Central America catches up. The report does not note the degree to which the Colombian civil war has cooled down and allowed production to resume in previously troubled regions.

World Coffee Production Increases

Production is up this year largely because of Brazil and the fact is that this is the “on” year of the two-year production cycle, important coffee growing regions are recovering from a severe frost in 2021 as well as drought. The increase is also being fueled by Brazil’s increasing production of Robusta going from 21.7 million bags to 22.8 million bags. Meanwhile production in Vietnam fell from last year’s record harvest to 30.8 million bags this year of which 95% is Robusta. Arabica production in Colombia will be flat this year as fertilizer shortages due to Russia’s war in Ukraine have limited potential gains. Production is estimated to come in at 13 million bags with 11.8 million to be exported to the USA.

Where Does Your Coffee Come From? – SlideShare Version

Where Does Your Coffee Come From? – PDF

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