brews up big profits
are likely to earn $1.8 billion this year, far beyond previous projections, but
poor quality is still leaving a bitter taste.
|The Ea Sim Coffee Co, a
susidiary of the Vietnam Coffee Corporation, has allotted arable land to
worker families on a contract basis to improve management. As a result,
they have harvested a record yield of more than three tonnes of coffee
per hectare from 1,440ha. — VNA Photo Dinh Na
HA NOI — Coffee exports
are expected to reach US$1.8 billion in 2007, well over earlier targets for the
year of $1.5 billion, according to the deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Coffee
and Cocoa Association, Doan Trieu Nhan.
Exports this year have
already surpassed the target, hitting $1.55 billion so far, Nhan said.
With shipments of a
million tonnes to date, coffee is the nation’s leading agricultural export
this year. As much as 50,000 tonnes were exported in October alone, earning $86
million, up from 39,000 tonnes and $49 million in export value in October a year
Nhan attributed the
impressive achievement in part to price hikes in coffee on the world market.
Despite a surge of only 43 per cent in volume year-on-year, export value rose 84
"Coffee export prices
rocketed to $1,800 a tonne in September, the highest in the past nine
years," said Nhan.
The Viet Nam Coffee and
Cocoa Association forecasted that prices would continue to jump due to lower
yields in Brazil, Viet Nam’s leading rival among global coffee producers, but
cautioned that pests could reduce Viet Nam’s coffee output this season by
10-15 per cent.
Despite the high value,
the price of Vietnamese coffee has remained roughly $50-$70 per tonne lower than
that of other leading coffee suppliers around the world due to poor local
harvesting techniques, causing a substantial amount of the nation’s coffee to
fail to meet international quality standards.
"Local farmers still
get into the habit of harvesting both ripe and unripe coffee beans," said
Nhan. "The country’s drying and processing practices also remain
Nhan expected that the
shortcomings would soon be addressed as the country applied new coffee quality
standards next year.
The new specification,
coded TCVN 4193:2005, replaces the old standard contained in TCVN 4193-93, will
regulate humidity percentages equal or less than 12.5 per cent and provide that
premium and grade 1 arabica cannot contain robusta.
According to the Ministry
of Agriculture and Rural Development, export markets for Vietnamese coffee
remain stable. Germany was the largest importer, consuming roughly 14 per cent
of the country’s total exported coffee, followed by the US, Italy, Spain and
Sweden. — VNS