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  • QA 194
    Question:
    How much arabica and robusta does Japan import from Indonesia?
    Background:
    What is the volume of arabica coffee and robusta coffee that Japan imports from Indonesia? What are the trends of the coffee industry in Japan?
    Asked by:
    Student - The Netherlands
    Answer:

    2007 green bean imports from Indonesia into Japan were 51,100 metric tonnes. Japan also imported 540 m/tonnes GBE of Indonesian soluble coffee but no roasted coffee. *

    Data are available for green, roasted and soluble coffee imports but these are not broken down into arabica and robusta. However, trade estimates are that of total Japanese green bean imports arabica represents approximately 75% and robusta 25%.

    Indonesia accounted for 13% of total 2007 green bean imports of 389,818 m/tonnes. This compares with 18% in 2000 when total Japanese imports were 382,230 m/tonnes and should be seen against imports from Vietnam that rose from 7% in 2000 to 11% in 2007. Imports of Indonesian soluble coffee fell from 6% in 2000 to 3% in 2007 whereas total soluble imports were barely changed.

    Indonesia and Japan signed a Free Trade Agreement in August 2007 that, amongst others, is expected to provide gradual tariff reductions on processed coffee imports into Japan from Indonesia. This may promote sales of Indonesian soluble coffee and coffee extract - there are no import tariffs on green bean imports into Japan.

    Japanese coffee consumption has been growing steadily at the rate of approximately 1.7% a year for the last decade. Imports of coffee of all forms: green, roasted, soluble, and extract were 324,841 m/tonnes GBE in 1990, rose to 416,090 m/tonnes in 2000 and reached 458,507 m/tonnes in 2006, falling back to 425,778 m/tonnes in 2007. In trend terms it is too early to say whether this reduction is significant.

    The International Coffee Organization (www.ico.org) puts Japanese per capita consumption for 2007 at 3.41 kg, unchanged from 2006. This compares with 3.18 kg in 2003. Trade estimates are that about 40% of all consumption is soluble coffee against about 35% for regular coffee. The share of canned coffee (ready-to-drink - developed in Japan) is quite high at between 15 and 20%.

    Japan is a very innovative market that will continue to offer excellent prospects. However, Japanese roasters are extremely quality conscious and quite conservative when it comes to choosing suppliers. Most coffee is therefore sourced trough the intermediary of importers and trade houses.

    Trade statistics and trends on numerous products, including coffee, are available as well at www.p-maps.org from the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO that also operates this Coffee Guide website.

    * GBE - Green Bean Equivalent. For conversion factors see topic 01.01.02 of the Guide.

    Posted 06 June 2008

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