coffee exports to China

Brazil’s coffee exports total 3.1 mt in March, down 19% year-on-year

Apr, 13, 2023 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202318

After two smaller harvests in 2021 and 2022, Brazil’s coffee exports continued to decline, which is consistent with the off-season scenario the country is currently in. In March, 3.088 million bags of 60 kg were exported, down 19% year-on-year. Also, compared to a year ago, revenue decreased by 26.4%, falling from US$ 909.2 million to the current US$ 669.5 million. The data is from the Brazilian Coffee Exporters Council (Cecafé).

With this performance, total shipments for the 2022/23 crop year reached 27.756 million bags, generating inflows of US$ 6.384 billion. Compared to the performance recorded between July 2021 and March last year, the volume was 9% lower, but revenue was 7.2% higher thanks to the high prices recently seen. A bag of coffee has been traded at an average of US$ 230 versus US$195.34 per bag in the first nine months of the 2021/22 season.

See below the track record of Brazil’s coffee exports (hs 0901) shipped between Jan 2019 and Feb 2023. The data is from DataLiner.

Brazilian coffee exports | Jan 2019 – Feb 2023 | WTMT

Source: DataLiner (click here to request a demo)

Calendar year

From January to the end of March 2023, Brazil shipped 8.358 million bags, down 22.8% from the 10.824 million bags reported in the first quarter of last year. Current foreign exchange revenue is US$ 1.796 billion, which represents a decrease of 27.5% compared to US$ 2.478 billion in the first three months of 2022.

“As was already stated at the end of February this year, the decrease in export volumes compared to last year is attributable to the absence of sizable carry-over stocks from the record-breaking 2020 harvest, which could potentially make up for harvest losses.” According to Márcio Ferreira, president of Cecafé, 2021 and 2022 were severely hit by a prolonged drought, which was then followed by the worst frost seen in the country in 27 years.

The Council’s general director, Marcos Matos, sees March’s performance as an improvement from the first two months of this year. He notes that “the volume shipped in March represents increases of 9% over January and 27% over February.”

Main destinations

The United States continued to be the top consumer of Brazil’s coffee in the first quarter of 2023, purchasing 1.553 million bags, a volume that was 26.6% lower than in the corresponding period of 2022. This figure amounts to 18.6% of all Brazilian coffee shipments in the period.

Germany, representing 13.1%, imported 1.099 million bags (-44.1%) and occupied second place in the ranking. Next comes Italy, with the purchase of 644,001 bags (-35.1%); Japan, with 471,307 bags (-2.79%); and Belgium, with the purchase of 449,319 bags (-60.9%).

On a different note, Brazilian coffee exports to China positively stand out, as they experienced a significant increase of 108.7% in the first quarter. Chinese purchases amounted to 185,308 bags, or 2.2% of the total exported, propelling this country to position 14 among the major destinations.

According to the general director of Cecafé, this movement reflects greater acceptance of the product in China, with young consumers willing to try the drink, expanding local consumption. “The Chinese market has been growing over the years, and Brazil has been filling in the market niches. We have carried out several actions to promote our coffees in partnership with coffee chains and local agents, contributing to the progress we have seen in the Chinese market,” highlights Matos.


The Santos maritime complex remains Brazil’s primary sender of coffee in the first quarter of 2023, with shipments of 6.614 million bags abroad, equivalent to 79.1% of the total. Other highlights were the ports of Rio de Janeiro, which account for 15.9% of shipments by sending 1.326 million bags, and Paranaguá, with the export of 119,624 bags and representativeness of 1.4%.

Coffee types

From January through March this year, 7.167 million bags of Arabica coffee, or 85.8% of the total, were exported. The canephora variety (robusta + conilon) was the runner-up variety with 270,486 bags (3.2%), followed by the soluble coffee with 910,547 bags shipped (10.9%), and the roasted/roasted and ground product with 10,141 bags (0.1%).

Specialty coffee

Coffees of superior quality or with certificates of sustainable practices accounted for 19.9% of Brazilian coffee exports in the first quarter of 2023, with 1.665 million bags shipped abroad. This volume represents a 3.3% increase over the previous year’s same period.

The average price of this product was US$ 248.70 per bag, generating revenue of US$ 414 million in three months, accounting for 23% of total shipments. Year on year, the value is 16.8% lower than in the first quarter of 2022.

The United States capped the list of the top destinations for specialty coffee in the first three months of this year, with 477,371 bags purchased, accounting for 28.7% of the total amount exported. Germany comes in second with 243,879 bags and a 14.7% share; Belgium comes in third with 173,737 bags (10.4%); Italy comes in third with 86,645 bags (5.2%); and the Netherlands comes in fourth with 80,368 bags (4.8%).

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