Laos to See Decline in Coffee Exports This Year

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Coffee

Coffee exports are expected to slow for Laos this year as the number of coffee plantations decreases.

In 2022, Laos is predicted to export just 20,000 tons of coffee, down from 30,000 tons in 2021, KPL reports.

President of the Lao Coffee Association, Mr. Sinouk Sisombat, said on Friday due to the volatility of the global coffee market, Lao coffee output has decreased, while the number of coffee plantations has decreased, with gardeners shifting to alternative crops such as cassava and rubber.

“Coffee prices have fallen in the last ten years, causing coffee growers to turn to other crops that they can harvest more quickly”,  said Mr. Sinouk.

While production had reached 50,000 tonnes per year by 2006, Mr. Sinouk said that in 2021 only around 30,000 tonnes had been harvested.  He predicts that production will fall to 20,000 tonnes per year in 2022.

Coffee grower at Vanmai Coffee
Coffee grower at Vanmai Coffee.

Environmental factors such as climate change and agricultural pests have also affected the trade.

Global demand is increasing, however, with the price of coffee rising, and Mr. Sinouk says the price of Lao coffee is higher than that of other countries.

The price of Robusta in Laos has risen from LAK 3,200 per kilogram to LAK 9,300 per kilogram due lower supply but high demand.

He says the the world’s leading coffee producers, including Brazil and Vietnam, also experienced a decrease in production.

“High prices are good for growers but may result in a lower quality product if growers rush to sell their beans,” he was quoted as saying by Vientiane Times.

Laos earned over USD 900 million from the export of agricultural products in 2021, with exports of bananas bringing in USD 225 million, while rubber earned USD 214 million, with cassava earning USD 196 million, sugarcane at USD 25 million, and watermelon netting USD 26 million