Coffee bean exports from Indonesia’s main growing provinces may fall as much as 12 percent this year because of lower inventories, an industry group said.
Exports from Lampung, Bengkulu and South Sumatra provinces, which produced mostly robusta, may decline to between 300,000 and 310,000 metric tons this year from 342,313 tons last year, Suherman Harsono, the head of Lampung branch of the Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters, said today.
“This year’s exports may be about the same level as in 2008 because we don’t have too many carry-over stocks like we had last year,” Harsono said in a telephone interview from the provincial capital, Bandar Lampung. The provinces exported 303,680 tons of beans in 2008.
Falling supplies from Indonesia, Asia’s largest producer after Vietnam, may help to support the price of the bitter- tasting robusta variety used in instant drinks, which lost 15 percent last year.
Carry-over stocks from farmers and beans released by Tripanca Group to pay debt amounted to about 70,000 tons and bolstered last year’s export volume, Harsono said.
Tripanca defaulted in 2008 on supplies of 60,000 tons as lenders seized the beans after it failed to repay 1.11-trillion rupiah ($118 million) loan, Albert Tiensa, a lawyer representing the company, said Nov. 18.
Shipments in January from the three provinces, which account for about 80 percent of Indonesia’s output and exports, plunged 65 percent to 6,740 tons from the previous month, Muchtar Lutfi, head of research and development at the association said.
“We started the year with only around 5,000 tons of stocks, but trade may pick up in May when fresh beans from the main harvest enter the market,” Lutfi said.
The Southeast Asian nation’s main harvest runs from April to June, with a smaller crop gathered through to October.
Coffee production in Indonesia may fall to 698,000 tons this year from 705,000 tons in 2009, Achmad Manggabarani, director general of plantation at the Ministry of Agriculture said Dec. 31.
March-delivery robusta fell $6 or 0.5 percent to $1,304 a ton on Liffe exchange in London at 4:22 p.m. Jakarta time.