News Karnataka

Rs 15,100 per 50kg bag: Arabica coffee price all-time high

Kodagu: Arabica Parchment coffee price soared to an all-time high of Rs. 15,100 per 50-kg bag on Friday December 3 in Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru markets. According to vendors this is the highest price ever for this coffee variety in 28 years. Normally, this coffee variety commands a price of Rs. 10,000-10,500.

The cost of Robusta Parchment increased to Rs. 6,000 per bag. The last time when Arabica coffee reached the highest rate was in 2014 at Rs. 11000 to Rs. 11,800 per bag. The price soon saw a downward trend and touched Rs. 6,000. Arabica Cherry costs Rs. 5,800-Rs. 6,200 a bag while the rate of Robusta parchment ranges between Rs. 6,200 and Rs. 6,500 per bag.

According to market experts, the heavy snowfall in Brazil, the largest coffee growing country in the world is the reason for soaring of price. It is said that the snowfall damaged more than 10 percent of Arabica crop this year and it takes at least 3 to 4 years to recover from the loss of crop.

Despite Arabica parchment coffee price has hit all-time high in the recent times, the growers are not in a position to celebrate it. The growers are in distress owing to Corona lockdown and untimely rain. The untimely rain in November and December too has damaged 40 percent of crop in the three Coffee growing districts.

During July week end, the Arabica Coffee price soared to Rs. 14,700 per 50-kg bag but the price was just prevalent for few hours after which it came down to Rs. 11,200-11,800.

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Coffee growers have been allowed to sell their coffee in the open market since 1992, following angry protests by them. After this the economic condition of the growers in the region have improved a lot.

December to April is the time for coffee harvesting and 90 percent of growers sell the produce before rainy season due to the price fluctuation and lack of warehouse facilities.

Arabica Coffee’s share in the country’s total production is less than 30 per cent, while Robusta accounts for 70 percent. The total annual coffee production in the country is approximately 3.6 lakh tonnes, of which Robusta is 2.5 lakh tonnes and Arabica is 1.1 lakh tonnes. The tiny District of Kodagu accounts to 30 percent of nation’s coffee production with 1.2 lakh tonnes of which Arabica’s share is 25000 tonnes and rest is Robusta.

Speaking to News Karnataka, a coffee exporter and promoter of AWIT Innovations (P) Ltd in Kushalnagar Rajiv Kushalappa said that the price fluctuations are likely to increase in the near future due to prevailing international market conditions. According to him, Ratan Machaiah, a coffee grower in Gonicoppa, said that the cost of production of coffee has increased significantly in recent years and growers are in distress. The wages of labourers, fertilisers, pesticides, etc., have doubled over the past decade but price remains the same. The growers are gambling on unpredictable climatic conditions year after year.

Coovercolly Indresh

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