Ethiopian Coffee Finds Growing Demand in China’s Emerging Market

Ethiopia, known as the birthplace of Arabica coffee, is witnessing a surge in the demand for its coffee in China, driven by the increasing number of Chinese consumers who appreciate the unique qualities of Ethiopian coffee. With China’s booming economy and its evolving coffee market, coffee exporters in Ethiopia are finding new opportunities to tap into this potential market. This blog post explores the growing relationship between Ethiopian coffee and Chinese consumers, highlighting the market’s potential and the efforts made to meet the rising demand.

Ethiopian Coffee:

A Rising Star in China’s Coffee Market: Abdullah Bagersh, general manager of S.A. Bagersh Private Limited Company (PLC), describes the demand for Ethiopian coffee in China as one of the most promising coffee markets worldwide. Over the past decade, China’s annual coffee consumption has expanded by more than 15 percent, while the international growth rate stands at 2.2 percent, according to data from the International Coffee Organization. Chinese coffee importers are establishing business relations with their Ethiopian counterparts, driven by the Chinese population’s shifting preference for coffee, particularly among the youth.

Exploiting New Market Opportunities:

Jemal Abrar, coffee quality control deputy manager at Mullege Coffee Export PLC, highlights the growing demand for Ethiopian coffee in China and the surrounding markets. Participation in the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo has been instrumental in expanding their market share in China and exploring new market opportunities. The Ethiopian Coffee Association, led by Gizat Worku, the CEO, acknowledges the evolving coffee market in China, traditionally dominated by tea. Worku emphasizes that Ethiopia cannot overlook China’s rich market potential, which has proven to be lucrative over time.

Impressive Export Growth and Future Prospects:

Ethiopia’s coffee exports to China have shown impressive growth over the years. The export volume increased from 4,200 tonnes in the 2019/2020 fiscal year to 11,200 tonnes in the 2021/2022 fiscal year. Worku envisions even more Ethiopian coffee entering the Chinese market in the next decade, and the Ethiopian Coffee Association stands ready to meet the growing demand through timely delivery of their specialty coffee, known for its de facto organic nature. With a population exceeding 1.3 billion and a rapidly growing economy, China’s market presents an enormous opportunity for Ethiopian coffee exporters.

Collaboration and Promotion:

The Ethiopian Coffee Association, in collaboration with the Chinese government and coffee buyers, is actively working to exploit the Chinese market further. Online meetings and aggressive promotion, supported by the Ethiopian Embassy in Beijing, are some of the strategies employed to enhance market penetration. Ethiopian coffee exporters have showcased their products in various Chinese cities, allowing Chinese consumers to experience the rich flavors and varieties of Ethiopian coffee firsthand.

The Potential of the Chinese Market:

Ahadu Woubshet, managing director of Moyee Coffee Roasting PLC, expresses optimism about the opportunities China’s expanding coffee drinking culture presents for Ethiopian coffee exporters. As the Chinese people begin to understand and appreciate the unique qualities of Ethiopian coffee, sales volumes continue to grow. Woubshet highlights that the Chinese market has been doubling year by year, making it a significant opportunity for Ethiopia to showcase its coffee.

China’s emerging market presents a wealth of opportunities for Ethiopian coffee exporters. With the increasing demand for coffee, particularly among the youth, Chinese consumers are beginning to appreciate the distinct flavors and qualities of Ethiopian coffee. Ethiopian exporters are actively engaging with the Chinese market, showcasing their products and forming business partnerships. As the relationship between Ethiopia and China continues to strengthen, the future looks bright for Ethiopian coffee in the vast and expanding Chinese coffee market.