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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Determining Japanese Market Today for Indonesian Coffee (1)

1. Outline

Because Japan does not produce any green coffee bean, Japan's coffee market fully relies on imports for its supply. However, coffee has been well established in Japan and has long been a part of Japanese life, and thus the size of the Japanese coffee market is enormous. According to International Coffee Organization, Japan imported about 7.1 million bags (60 kilo/bags) in 2007, which was the fourth largest import quantity after USA, Germany and Italy. Coffee is widely consumed in Japan, and also it holds a very strong position in Japan's drink market.

We will review the Japanese market for coffee, including regular coffee, instant coffee, coffee extracts and essence. Later we will discuss consumption, distribution channel, EPA tariff, conclusion and recommendation. Separately import statistics and the related market data are attached as reference.

2. Category definition

The coffees discussed in this study are defined as per the following HS code.
3. Market overview

Green coffee beans are all supplied by imports. Imported green beans are roasted and processed into various forms in accordance with actual demand. In addition to domestic productions, Japan also imports regular coffee, instant coffee, extracts and essence.

The following table indicates overall coffee import for Japan with breakdowns by major coffee-based products. In order to determine size of the market, we adopted green bean basis and converted all the quantities of coffee-based products to green bean equivalents.

Japan imported green bean of 389,818mt in 2007, but including imports of regular coffee, instant coffee, extracts and essence, Japan's total coffee import is estimated at 425,778 mt in green been equivalent for 2007. More than 90% of Japan's coffee import is accounted for by green bean. It can be said that Japan is a country principally importing coffee green beans and producing various coffee products in Japan.

A large quantity of coffee bean import makes Japan the fourth largest importer of coffee following U.S.A., Germany and Italy. Today coffee is widely consumed among Japanese as everyday drinks. As Japan imports significant quantity of coffee, Japan's coffee consumption is also huge. Adjusting stock change and exports, the Japanese annual coffee consumption is now estimated at 438,483 mt in 2007, of which, regular coffee accounts for 74% of the total, and the remaining shares are mostly held by instant coffee with some minor consumption of extracts and essence. Detailed breakdowns are shown in the following table.

Notes: Green bean equivalent of regular coffee domestic production = [(Beginning stock - Ending stock) x 1.1 + Annual import] - Instant coffee domestic production (MAFF statistics) x 2.6 (conversion rate); Green bean equivalent of instant domestic production = Instant coffee domestic production (MAFF statistics) x 2.6 (conversion rate); Regular coffee consumption includes home use, industrial use and extracts and essence for industrial use; Others are principally the coffee extracts and essence for industrial use.

4. Coffee market by category

As earlier explained, coffee is imported principally in green bean, but it is also imported in various forms. All of imported green bean is processed into various forms for various applications in Japan. According to the level of processing, size, value, and usage become variable. For this reason, we will discuss Japan's coffee market by category.

4.1. Coffee green bean

As Japan is not a producing country of coffee beans, all is supplied by imports, and thus the Japanese coffee bean import is very much affected by the world's market price. Although the import of green beans continued to increase both in quantity and value for five years until 2006, it decreased to 389,818 mt in 2007, down by 8% from last year. However, import value increased to JPY117.6 billion, up by 4% for the same period. The increasing import value with declining quantity is a result of soaring price in the global market. In fact, since later 2004, the prices at New York market showed continuous risings due to poor crop forecast in Brazil. Such price hikes resulted in a series of actual price increases from earlier 2005, and the prices have been pushed up further by the growing demands from China and India. Those price hikes have cooled the Japanese demand for imports.Imported green beans are processed by roasters or instant coffee manufacturers, in which green beans are roasted and processed for various applications.

Japan is importing coffee green beans from more than 40 countries. Major exporting countries for Japan are split into the following figure. Brazil is the largest exporter, accounting for 28% share of the total imports from 2003 to 2007, followed by Colombia (21 %), Indonesia (14%), Ethiopia (8%) and Vietnam (8%). These five countries supply more than three-quarter of import quantity during the period. Indonesia is the third largest coffee bean exporting country for Japan, supplying Robusta mainly for industrial use such as canned coffee and instant coffee.

4.2. Regular coffee

With imported green beans, Japan produces roasted coffee. Majority of the roasted coffee is distributed as regular coffee, including ground coffee as well as blended coffee. The Japanese regular coffee consumption is estimated at 274,452mt (product basis) for 2007, in which domestic production accounts for 98% of the total. Regular coffee imports have continued to increase for past years but the quantity is still small, accounting for some 2% share of the total consumption.

According to All Japan Coffee Association Survey 2004, Japan's consumption of regular coffee can be split into 41 % for industrial use (canned coffee, bottled coffee or liquid product for cake industry, etc.), 37% for home use via retail trades, and 22% for food service, including vending machines. Key demand of industrial use is coffee-based soft drink production, which occupies a 60% share of the total demand. Regarding home use, the most popular type of product is a regular coffee vacuumed in plastic bag or tinned to keep aroma fresh. But in addition to those regular products, coffee manufacturers have developed various new products such as coffees in disposable paper cups, single-serving coffee bags, etc. Regular coffee consumption in food service sector remains sluggish due to decreasing number of independent coffee shops. However, coffee shop chain operators have been expanding their shop network. Some of fast food restaurant chains are offering high quality gourmet coffee by introducing drip machines in their restaurants and replacing beans with higher quality to stimulate consumers' demand.

Talking about regular coffee imports, US export accounts for 49% share of the total, and top five countries occupy three-quarters of the total. Despite the recent booming gourmet coffee shops, e.g., Starbucks Coffee, regular coffee import is still small.

To be continued.

Source: Pudjiatmoko.
2009. Determining Japanese Market Today for Indonesian Selected Agricultural Products. pp. 8-15. Agricultural Attaché . Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia. Tokyo.

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