Nov 29

Coffee Weekly Report - 2023 11 29

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  • European coffee stocks for the 22/23 cycle hit historic lows in September and October. September stocks were 9.31M bags, and October stocks were 8.44M bags, the lowest since December 2013.

  • Current stocks are 5M bags below average, covering only 18% of a year's demand, compared to 31% in October 2022. The drop is partly due to a 17% decrease in September 2023 imports (3.5M bags) and a lower stock-to-use ratio.

  • For the entire crop year (October to September), the EU imported 45.6M bags, 7% less than the previous cycle. Despite lower imports, stocks fell by 40%, suggesting factors beyond imports contributed, including increased roaster demand.

  • Roaster demand might be 5% higher than initial estimates, reaching 46.4M bags. Also, internal dynamics, such as anti-deforestation regulations, may also impact the coffee market in the European Union.

A look into European Union’s coffee demand

With the release of September and October European coffee stocks, 22/23 cycle results are finally at hand, and it’s an opportunity to review how demand has behaved in the EU – in order to understand how those indicators might develop in the upcoming year.

First, looking exclusively at the stocks data, both September and October results impress for their historical lows: stocks were at 9,31M bags in the former, and 8.44M bags in the latter (Chart #1) – the lowest since December 2013, when data is available.
Stocks are currently 5M bags below average, and in terms of stock-to-use ratio, the metric stacks up poorly when compared to last year: current stocks can meet 18% of a year’s worth of demand, while in October 2022, it could fill 31%!

The drop is partially explained simply by the lower imports figures: in September 2023, the bloc imported 3.5M bags, a 17% drop when compared to the same period last year (Chart #2). Lower stocks have been the norm at destinations for quite some time due to storage costs related to higher interest rates. Nonetheless, the last update draws attention for the historically low figures.

Image 1: European Union Coffee Stocks (M bags)

Source: ECF

Image 2: Monthly European Union Coffee Imports (M bags)

Source: Eurostat, hEDGEpoint

Looking at the crop year data (running from October to September), the European Union imported 45.6M bags, 2.67M bags lower than initial estimates for the period, which were at 48.3M bags (Chart #3).

It represents a 7% decrease when compared to the 21/22 cycle. Still, as discussed previously in the text, stocks dropped by roughly 5M bags during the same period (both YoY and vs. the historical average), a negative 40% change.

Therefore, the drop in stocks is only partially explained by lower imports: it’s also important to consider a possibly higher appetite by roasters, as well as internal dynamics particular to the bloc, since the same trend is not seen in other destinations (namely Japan, since United States stocks are no longer publicly available).

When considering the first case, it would suggest demand 5% higher than initial estimates (and also in the yearly comparison), reaching 46.4M bags, vs. the 44.3M bags projected figure, and 44.1M bags reported in the last cycle. As for the second case, new anti-deforestation regulations are also changing the landscape for commodity products in the bloc, including coffee – consequently, those particularities may also have an added impact.

Image 3: Yearly European Union Coffee Imports (M bags)

Source: Eurostat, hEDGEpoint

Image 4: Yearly European Union Coffee Apparent Consumption (M bags)

Source: Eurostat, ECF, hEDGEpoint

In Summary

The European coffee market for the 2022/2023 cycle reveals historically low stock levels in September and October, at 9.31M and 8.44M bags respectively, the lowest since December 2013. Current stocks, 5M bags below average, can only meet 18% of a year's demand, compared to 31% in October 2022.

The decline is attributed to a 17% drop in September 2023 imports, totaling 3.5M bags, and a 7% decrease in the overall 45.6M bags imported for the year. However, the 40% drop in stocks is not solely due to lower imports, as factors like increased roaster demand (potentially 5% higher than estimates) and internal dynamics, such as anti-deforestation regulations, may contribute to the decline.

Weekly Report — Coffee

Written by Natália Gandolphi
Reviewed by Pedro Schicchi


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