Paradox: Vietnam’s coffee import increase sharply

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Paradox: Vietnam’s coffee import increase sharply

Viet Nam is known as the second largest exporter of coffee in the world. However, Vietnamese coffee is mainly exported in raw form, not bringing about the corresponding value. The sad fact is that in recent years, the volume of imported coffee in Viet Nam has increased rapidly.

Imports increased sharply – Exports declined

According to the Trade Promotion Agency – Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam imports about 1 million bags of coffee in 2016-2017. An increase of about 360,000 bags compared to last year. The main markets of Viet Nam are Brazil, China and USA. Imported products include coffee beans, ground coffee, ready-made coffee.

Meanwhile, coffee exports in 2017 reached just over 1.4 million tons and $ 3.2 billion. There has been a decrease of 20% and 4% in value over the same period of 2016. Although it accounts for 19% of the global coffee market, 90% of the coffee is exported in raw form. The rate of processed coffee is only 10% of the country’s coffee output.

The reason of Paradox

Technological weakness

The foreign beverage companies as well as the export market of Viet Nam have set many stringent requirements for raw materials for their products. While in Viet Nam, not all businesses have enough resources to promote processing technology, compete with the brand coffee roasted ground, dissolve foreign.

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At the first step, there is no synchronization of harvesting standards for farmers. Farmers still do not know the standard of maturity leading to low quality. At the first dry start, more than 80% of the production was done in households. The sunbathing yard is a yard, or canvas with cement, causing coffee and many impurities.

For processing coffee powder, small processing facilities, machines are backward. On the other hand, alternative materials are blended with coffee which leads to quality concerns.

The strong development of foreign coffee brands

In recent years, the retail sector has developed strongly. In particular, foreign brands such as Starbucks, McCafe, Dunkin Donuts and PJ’s Coffee, etc., are emerging. These brands expand in Viet Nam, resulting in increased coffee imports.

Not because Vietnamese coffee is not good, or poor quality, so they “dislike” not use. In fact, these brands often use Arabica coffee. While the volume of this coffee in Viet Nam is low. Even if the output is enough, the taste of Arabica coffee in Viet Nam will be different from other places in the world.

What exactly is the direction for the Vietnamese coffee industry?

To match the position of coffee exports, Viet Nam needs to ensure the process of planting, caring, harvesting and preliminary processing. Tightening quality control during the process from planting to processing.

At present, there are some enterprises. They have real investment in technology for roasting and processing. And they also have roasted ground coffee, soluble exports. But domestic coffee processing still can not keep up with the world. Therefore, it is necessary to turn “some enterprises” into “all enterprises” to promote investment in processing technology. So, the coffee industry in Viet Nam has maintained its position in the world, and even more in the future.


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