COLUMBIA—According to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Columbia’s coffee production is expected to rise by 7.5% to 11.5 million bags of green bean equivalent (GBE) in the market year (MY) 2023-2024.

This increase is attributed to drier conditions and improved sunlight resulting from the El Niño phenomenon, in contrast to excessive rainfall and reduced fertilization rates seen in the current MY, which led to 10.7 million bags of GBE.

Coffee exports are forecasted to reach 12 million bags of GBE in MY 2023/2024, driven by improved yields meeting local demand.

Moreover, due to increased stockpiles and price competitiveness, Columbia is expected to import around 2.5 million bags of GBE, primarily from Brazil.

According to the report, Colombian coffee domestic prices have trended downward to a two-year low since late 2022, influenced by low international prices and a minor depreciation of the Colombian peso due to inflation.

Despite a 1.4% year-on-year increase in domestic coffee consumption to 2.2 million bags of green bean equivalent in the current MY, the economic crisis and persistently high prices are anticipated to hinder growth in MY 2023/2024.

Furthermore, despite growing interest in speciality coffee, most Colombian homes prefer soluble coffee and low-cost coffee blends, contributing to low coffee consumption among locals.

Colombian coffee is shipped to over 40 nations, with the United States being the most important export destination, accounting for more than 40% of the market.

The European Union, Japan, and Canada follow as export destinations.

In the previous MY (2022/2023), green coffee constituted 89% of total coffee exports, followed by soluble coffee (9%) and roasted coffee (2%).

While the majority of Colombian coffee production is Arabica, Agrosavia, the Colombian Agricultural Research Corporation, has been researching the viability of Robusta production since 2017, aiming to increase Robusta’s semi-commercial production.

According to FAS Bogota (Post), the goal of establishing Robusta production is to replace coffee imports (mainly soluble) and increase coffee plantations in non-traditional producing areas.

In pursuit of higher farmgate prices, Colombian coffee producers are utilizing sustainable certification models to receive improved market price differentials with the aim of producing high-quality (specialty-grade) coffee.