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Indian Coffee Exporters on an Optimistic Rise in the Coffee Market in South Korea

Monday, December 2nd, 2013
AS

According to Jawaid Akhtar, In­dian Coffee Board Chairman, there has been a fivefold jump in volume of Indian coffee ex­ports to South Korea over the last three years. He said that exports have been steadily going up ever since India took part in the ‘Seoul Café Show’ in Korea two years ago. He added that Indian exporters had been taken along to showcase the di­versity in the range of coffee production and this is a huge step towards cultivating and building this market. Also, the India International Coffee Festival, 2012, was held in New Delhi and the basic idea be­hind organizing this festival was to make the world aware of the India coffee market. Mr. Akhtar was present at the curtain-raiser event and he told the reporters that they are now intent upon making Indian cof­fee popular in other Asian countries, and Japan and South Korea are being targeted in particular. He pointed out that India does not export much coffee presently but that a tremendous potential for exports can be observed.
India has a big geographical advantage when it comes to coffee-growing when compared to South American countries. Korea has a demand for mild-coffee and India fits the bill because of this. India has also established good working condi­tions and comfort with Korea because of dealings with their brands in the Indian market. Such brands include Hyundai, Samsung, LG, etc. South Korean consum­ers of coffee are well aware of the quality of coffee they seek to purchase and they have rapidly become like professional tast­ers of the beverage. Indian coffees are ap­preciated there and due to this, coffee of good quality with proper taste profile and certification is being consumed on a large scale. According to statistics, coffee ex­ports to South Korea are expected to cross over 2,000 tonnes in the crop year 2011- 12, compared to 2,051 tonnes in 2010-11. In 2009-10, exports were much lower and stood at 366 tonnes.
Three Indian exporters took part in the ‘Seoul Café Show’ in 2012 and five export­ers took part in 2011. One participant, Nis­hant Gurjer, KPA Chairman and managing partner of the Kappi Royale Coffee and the Sethuraman Estates, said that Korea has emerged as a big importer of coffee in the last five years and their level of consump­tion has greatly increased. He said that ever since he started exporting coffee to Korea, he has been seeing home grown café chains like ‘Cafe Bene’, ‘Angelinus Coffee’, ‘Hollys Coffee’ and ‘Paris Baguette’ expanding ev­erywhere and that together they have over 1000 stores now. He also mentioned that Indian coffee is getting good prices as well. Vietnam is also a large producer of coffee and this country has the potential to give India a lot of competition when it comes to dominating the Korean market. Howev­er, the authorities in India think that they have an advantage because they can supply both Robusta and Arabica varieties of cof­fee while Vietnam is exclusively a Robusta supplier.

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