Coffee is one of Vietnam’s most important agricultural exports. Vietnam is highly competitive as a coffee producer because of ideal climate and environmental conditions, low production costs, and yields among the highest in the world.
Vietnamese coffee has been developing fast. To illustrate: In 1975 the country had 13,000 ha of coffee producing 6,000 tons. Now 500,000 ha is in coffee, with output exceeding 1,000,000 tons.
Subsequent to 2000 Vietnam became the second largest coffee exporter in the world, following only Brazil. Vietnam exports 700 to 900 thousand tons annually, 14% of world market share.
In recent years, the Vietnamese coffee industry has developed vigorously. In 2009, Vietnam exported 1.2 million tons earning revenue of 1.7 billion US$. Vietnam’s crop of 2008-2009 produced exports of 16 million 60-kilogram bags and 977 metric tons of green coffee beans reaping 1.5 billion US$ in revenue.
Vietnam is exporting coffee beans to 90 countries, with 16 of them accounting for 79 percent of total Vietnamese coffee bean exports.
Two big markets in Asia – Japan and Korea – are also important customers of Vietnam. The permanent markets among Southeast Asian nations are the Philippines, Malaysia, and recently, Indonesia.
Germany is Vietnam’s biggest customer. In 2009, Germany imported 136,248 tons worth 202 million US$. For the first seven months of 2010, this Teutonic nation imported 88,447 tons of coffee valued at 125 million US$.
The United States is the second largest buyer of Vietnam’s green coffee (after Germany), and accounted for 16 percent of Vietnam’s total green coffee exports. Vietnam also exported a small amount of both ground roast and 3-in-1 coffee mixes to the United States, value exceeding $193 million.
Vietnam’s sales aren’t limited to major markets in Europe and the US. It has a diverse and sustainable market, exporting to Latin America, the Mid-East, Africa, and ASEAN countries.