Coffee association expects export market recovery in coming months

File Photo.
File Photo.

Myanmar’s coffee beans exports are dropping as against last year, and Myanmar Coffee Association is expecting a recover of market in the coming months, said an official of the association. The impacts of coronavirus hurt coffee industry as the lockdown and physical distancing caused a reduction in consumption. The COVID-19 crisis changed the dynamics of coffee consumption during recent months and roasters, cafe owners and distributors are identifying specific trends in Asian markets that may expedite a recovery to a new normal, according to ASEAN Coffee Federation.
“Myanmar primarily produces Arabica coffee. Specialty coffee fetches as much as US$4,500-10,000 per ton. Myanmar’s specialty coffee beans are highly demanded due to their high quality and organic production,” said U Myo Aye, chair of the Myanmar Coffee Association. “Myanmar’s coffee has already earned a good reputation. It has penetrated markets in Asia such as Hong Kong and Singapore, European countries, and the US, and it has a good potential in the global market,” said an official from the Agriculture Department.
Myanmar’s coffee has grabbed a market share in the US, with the support of USAID and WinRock International NGO. Efforts are being made to penetrate markets in Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Canada. At present, the export of coffee is extremely low as the COVID-19 hit hard the western countries. In response to the COVID-19 in the coffee sector, innovative trade offer and digital market are required in order to adapt to a new normal, coupled with client-oriented supply. Moreover, the coffee growers and producers need to increase quality to enter competitive markets. As a result of this, the government backed loan is needed to help the stakeholders survive in the crisis.
There are 40,000 acres of highland coffee plantations and about 10,000 acres under lowland coffee in Myanmar, totaling 50,000 acres. Shan State is the main producer of coffee beans. Coffee beans are harvested between December and February. They are distributed and exported throughout the year after harvest time. Myanmar yearly exports around 400 tonnes of coffee. In 2019, it shipped about 500 tonnes of coffee to foreign markets. — Ko Khant (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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