The world needs more of both arabica and robusta beans, but increases in robusta production and demand will be higher Image Credit: Unsplash/Tyler Nix

Global consumption of coffee is likely to climb by 1 to 2 per cent a year through the end of the decade, according to International Coffee Organization Executive Director Vanusia Nogueira, who estimated about 25 million more 60-kilo bags will be needed over the next eight years.

“We are more conservative now for a short-term projection,” Nogueira said during a conference in Hanoi held by the Vietnam Coffee-Cocoa Association, referring to all the events the world is facing, including high inflation in Europe and the war in Ukraine. The group’s earlier forecasts for consumption growth averaging 3.3 per cent a year over the long term were too “optimistic,” she added.

The global market will reach a balance in supply and demand in the next two or three years, from a deficit now, Nogueira said in a Bloomberg interview.

The world needs more of both arabica and robusta beans, but increases in robusta production and demand will be higher, she said. Traditional arabica producers are trying to grow more robusta amid global warming, while roasters are seeking to add cheaper robusta to their blends. 

Many markets are looking for fine robusta, Nogueira said. Vietnam is doing its homework on expanding to high-quality robusta production “quite well,” she said, recalling her surprise on tasting three sets of “very good” coffee cups during a visit a day earlier with a group of international guests to a coffee shop owned by the nation’s second-largest exporter Vinh Hiep Co.

The group doesn’t see Vietnam’s global dominance of robusta exports being hurt by Brazil’s increased production of conilon, because the extra output will go to supply the South American country’s soluble industry, the world’s largest, according to Nogueira. Producing nations need to boost domestic consumption for better prices and benefits to their economies, she said.

The International Coffee Organization is an intergovernmental group of exporting and importing countries, representing more than 90 per cent of world production and over 60 per cent of consumption, according to its website.