With the accession of Bulgaria,
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland,
Romania, Slovak Republic and Slovenia the EU now has 27 member countries with
an estimated population of 496.2 million.
According to the European Commission the EU will be the largest barrier-free
market in the world, bigger than the US, Canada and Mexico together, with
prospects of further growth as yet more countries may join. In terms of green coffee imports, the 27 EU member states between
them accounted for an estimated 49.6 million bags in 2009 (ICO), including
intra EU trade and at 46.2 million bags excluding intra EU trade. The
European Coffee Federation’s figures are very similar.
One consequence of the single EU market is however that, strictly speaking,
there is no intra-EU import or export, only movement of goods. This is more
than just terminology. It means in practice that the vast majority of imports
are declared at the point of entry into the EU and not at the point of
destination. This tends to increase gross import figures for those countries
with the major points of importation (in essence, the major ports). At the same
time, the single market means that the earlier documentary requirements for
cross-border traffic no longer exist. Operators are required to report
cross-border traffic to the statistical bodies, but only above a certain value
and/or volume. Eurostat, the EU statistical office, has developed models to
extrapolate total intra-EU movement of goods on the basis of the reported data,
but these have their limitations.
For these reasons data on the movement of green as well as finished coffee
within the EU have inevitably become less accurate. However, not only do many
of the statistics for individual EU country coffee imports produced by both the
EU authorities and the ICO not always present the total picture, but there are
also differences between them. Most individual EU member country statistics
must, therefore, be treated with some caution.
After deduction of intra-EU trade, net total green bean imports into the
27-member EU for 2009 work out at some 46.2 million bags.
The six top suppliers were Brazil (32%), Vietnam (19%),
Indonesia (6%) Honduras (5%) Colombia (5%) and Peru (5%).