Avocados, durians help coffee farmers cope with surging costs
Coffee growers in top producer Vietnam are planting more profitable crops like avocados, black pepper and durians, which is helping them cope with the soaring fertilizer and fuel costs caused by the war in Ukraine.
Even with the extra income from these additional crops, farmers are still having to cut back investment in their coffee trees, which may lead to a 10-percent drop in production next season from a year earlier, said Nguyen Nam Hai, the new chair of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association.
The country buys large amounts of fertilizer from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, and farmers are not profiting much from market prices, even though they are higher than a year ago, because of the increased costs, he said in an interview.
Vietnam is the world’s biggest grower of the robusta variety used in instant drinks and espressos. The country is likely to account for almost a fifth of all the coffee grown in the world in 2021-22, with output of more than 31 million bags of 60 kilos each, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
The war has had almost no impact on shipments because Russia and Ukraine are not major importers of the country’s coffee, and sales to the key European Union market have been maintained, Hai said, adding he sees exports this year staying around the same level as last year.
Green coffee beans still dominate exports, and the country’s processed products struggle to find a way onto the world market because customers are already used to established brands and to Nestle SA products, Hai said.
The goal is to have processed products represent as much as 25 percent of coffee export revenue in the next five years from less than 10 percent at present, Hai said, while local consumption is expected to double to as high as 12 percent of total sales.
Other priorities are to encourage local growers to establish more cooperatives and partner with exporters to form larger farms, which will help standardize cultivation processes and increase usage of high-yield varieties, Hai said, adding he also aimed to replant aging trees and increase irrigation to combat climate change.
US steak prices
Beef will be getting even more expensive at US grocery stores in the months ahead, according to one of the country’s biggest meatpackers.
National Beef Co., controlled by the Brazilian giant Marfrig Global Foods, sees relatively stable margins in the next two quarters, according to Tim Klein, who heads Marfrig’s US operations. That means even though their costs to buy cattle are increasing, the company will ultimately be able to pass that on to consumers in the form of pricier steaks and burgers.
“Cattle prices will go up, and beef prices will go up with them,” Klein said Tuesday during an earnings interview.
The cost of meat has been a focus as consumers grapple with the fastest inflation in four decades. The average price for ground beef in America grocery stores has jumped 18 percent from a year ago, according to government data. American shoppers may adapt to inflation, buying more less expensive cuts, according to Klein.
Marfrig beat analysts’ estimates for earnings before items and revenue, posting a record for a first quarter. US operations drove the gains, while South America’s unit started a recovery amid booming Chinese demand and improving cattle supply in Brazil, according to Miguel Gularte, who heads operations in the region.
Net income fell 61 percent from a year ago because it boosted its stake in food giant BRF SA, which resulted in a non-cash loss of 795 million reais. Starting next quarter, Marfrig will add BRF earnings to its balance sheet, according to Chief Financial Officer Tang David. Last month, Marfrig’s founder, Marcos Molina dos Santos, was elected BRF chairman.
Source from: BLOOMBERG NEWS (May 10, 2022). Avocados, durians help coffee farmers cope with surging costs. BLOOMBERG NEWS. https://businessmirror.com.ph/2022/05/04/avocados-durians-help-coffee-farmers-cope-with-surging-costs/