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  • QA 190
    Question:
    Where does Vietnam rank in terms of world production?
    Background:
    Where can I find statistics of the world coffee export in 2007? In 2007, is Vietnam the largest coffee producing country?
    Asked by:
    Research/Extension sector - Vietnam
    Answer:

    Vietnam is the world's largest robusta producer but Brazil is the world's largest coffee producing country. Overall Vietnam ranks second and Colombia third. *

    The International Coffee Organization (www.ico.org) puts 2007 production in Vietnam at about 16 million bags (of 60 kg each). This compares with 33.7 million bags in Brazil and 12.4 million in Colombia. According to ICO data these three countries accounted for about 53% of the approximately 116 million bags produced that year. **

    However, in 1987 Vietnamese production was just 750,000 bags… This rose to almost 7 million bags in 1997 and current estimates are that future harvests could reach as high as 20 million bags… Nevertheless, also because of Government's stated intention to limit the total area planted to coffee, it is unlikely Vietnam will replace Brazil as the world's largest coffee producer. Not only is Brazilian production presently more than double that of Vietnam, but the country is also poised to become the world's leading consumer of coffee with over 17 million bags drunk domestically in 2007… Current domestic consumption in Vietnam is estimated at less than 1 million bags.

    From a historical perspective the growth of the Vietnamese coffee industry represents a major shift in supply patterns. Previously, in the 1970's, Africa was the world's largest producer of robusta, accounting for some 80% of world production. Admittedly, world production then was much lower and Vietnam has benefited from growing global consumption. Nevertheless, Africa currently accounts for less than 20% of world robusta production, evidence of a marked decline in the fortunes of African robusta producers who now risk being overtaken also by Brazil…

    Statistics

    This website only provides a small number of the most important trend statistics. These are updated once a year, based on then available data. Visit www.ico.org  for a wider, more detailed and more regularly updated selection, including coffee related data for individual coffee producing and consuming countries. The ICO site also provides details of current ICO membership, ICO activities and ICO publications.

    Detailed data on world exports can be found at www.ico.org/trade_statistics.asp - click on Monthly Data (first half and second half).

    A further important source of statistics information is found at the Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of Agriculture at http://www.fas.usda.gov/commodities.asp - click on 'coffee'.

    F O Licht's International Coffee Report (bi-weekly publication) offers a continuous stream of coffee data and commentary, but by subscription only. The same company also offers an interactive database with search and report capability on some 180 countries, well suited for researchers. However, again by subscription only - go to www.agra-net.com  for details.

    www.p-maps.org and www.trademap.org also operated by the International Trade Centre, are excellent sources of trade information for many products, including coffee, that not only shows trade data but also the type and value of coffee imports into individual consumer countries. To access this service (updated annually) you will first have to register through the website.

    * Commercial coffee production is of two types: arabica and robusta. Vietnam mostly produces robusta but Brazil is the world's largest producer of arabica and holds second place in the robusta sector, thereby making it the world's largest coffee producer.

    ** ICO data are derived from Certificates of Origin and returns submitted by producing member countries, as well as information from consuming countries. Information from other sources such as government institutions often contains estimates that are subject to revision. Also, occasionally there are problems with some of the import data published elsewhere when, for example, quantities of soluble/roasted coffee are not converted but simply reported as green bean, there is double reporting and so on.

    As a result ICO data, both current and historical, is constantly being revised, a large and in fact never-ending task. But an important one because, in the end, the ICO's database whilst not perfect certainly is the most detailed of all. The Coffee Guide on the other hand does not pretend to be a database and therefore only updates its data once a year, based on what is then available and including any changes that may have been made to data for previous years.

    Posted 22 April 2008

    Related chapter(s):
    Related Q & A:
    Q&A 007, 057, 076, 091, 122, 137, 167