MILAN – The Coronavirus outbreak is taking a heavy toll on India ’s coffee exports. Shipments to Italy, which accounts for over a fifth of India ‘s exports, have come down considerably over the past few days, according to market data. Italy, where the coronavirus death toll recently surpassed China, has been in lockdown for two weeks, with schools, bars and restaurants shut and Italians forbidden from leaving their homes for all but essential needs.
Also concerns on the logistics front is also seen impacting the shipments. The availability of containers is also going to be a concern going ahead.
Shipping agencies have indicated that there could be a shortage of containers due to the disruption of business in China, from where a lot of containers come.
Some exporters have indicated that they are facing delays in payments from buyers in Italy as banks in that country are not functioning at full capacity.
Further, exporters have also faced issues from other markets in West Asia and North Africa. Jordan has asked the Indian exporters to delay their shipments by a few weeks. Jordan is among the top 10 buyers of Indian coffees.
Exporters are hesitant to take orders and have also slowed down their purchases, there could be some impact on the farm gate prices, which had seen an upward trend in recent months.
Arabica parchment prices in India are currently ruling around ₹9,500-10,000 levels per 50-kg bag, while Arabica cherry prices are hovering around ₹3,900-4,000 levels.
Robusta parchment prices are around ₹6,450-6,900, while Robusta cherry prices are around ₹3,100-3,200 levels.
In the long term, the impact depends on how the virus issue continues.