Data Insight: World Coffee Production and Consumption

Through investigating the coffee shop industry, it is impossible not to get pulled into what takes place in the global coffee industry more generally. Recently I’ve been doing some writing about coffee production and consumption globally and how this relates to the patterns in the coffee shop industry. In doing so I’ve been exploring the production and consumption of coffee using some of the recent ICO trade statistics (which cover exports, imports, re-exports, production and consumption of coffee). I ended up producing a few maps and charts in Tableau to explore change in world coffee production, and a few other data sets, and the highlights of some of these are  included in this blog post.

Coffee Production

Globally it is estimated that 157 million (60kg) bags of coffee were produced in 2016 up from around 152 million in 2013. The global distribution of this production is shown in the map below (with the darker shades of green indicating higher production). It’s easy to see that the production of coffee tends to cluster in countries around the equator, where the growing conditions are conducive for coffee plants to grow. It should be noted that there are more countries that grow coffee than are shown here – but for those that produce small amounts of coffee they have been aggregated in the ICO data in an ‘Other’ category.

ICO Coffee Data

  • In 2016 significantly more Arabica coffee was produced (around 102 million bags), than Robusta coffee (around 56 million bags).
  • The largest producing country by far, was Brazil as can be seen in the chart below with 55 million bags in 2016, up from around 50 million in 2015.
  • Other leading producer countries include Colombia (14.5 million bags), Indonesia (11.2 million bags) and Honduras (7. million bags).

ICO Coffee Data

  • The large production volumes that emerge from Brazil naturally make South America the largest producing region (even without including Mexico and Central America), as is shown in the chart below (data indicates thousands of bags).

ICO Coffee Data

Change in Global Coffee Production 2015

The coffee harvests each year naturally fluctuate due to climatic conditions, trading conditions and a number of other factors, but it is still interesting to look at how the pattern of production has changed between 2015 and 2016. The map below charts percentage change with the green countries experiencing growth in production, and the red countries, decline.

ICO Coffee Data

  • The greatest increase in production was experienced by Papua New Guinea (64.5%), followed by Uganda (34.3%), Honduras (33%), Peru (27.8%) and Mexico (24.1%).
  • Papua New Guinea has witnessed significant growth in the last few years from 835,000 bags of coffee in 2013, to nearly 1.2 million bags in 2016. Production in Honduras has been steadily increasing over recent years too. The situation in Peru and Mexico however has been of fluctuation, with Peru’s production dipping in 2012, and yet to return to levels from 2013, with Mexico experiencing a fall in production of around 700,000 bags in 2015.
  • The greatest decline in production was experienced by Yemen (-33.4%), Thailand (-29.8%), Cameroon (-27.5%), Togo (-25.9%) and Rwanda (-24.4%).
  • Decline in Yemen, Cameroon and Togo has been steady since 2013, while Thailand and Rwanda had a bumper year in 2015, and a subsequent fall the following year.ICO Coffee Data

Global Coffee Consumption

While global coffee production was generally concentrated around the equator, the appetite for coffee is truly global.

  • The amount of coffee consumed in 2016 in importing countries (107 million bags) dwarfs that consumed by exporting countries (48 million bags).
  • The ICO data published here, does not break the EU countries down individually, and so as a group, they dominate the consumption charts included here. The countries with smaller consumption amounts have been aggregated into an ‘other’ category. The chart below shows how distribution of coffee consumption across global regions (data is in thousands of bags of coffee).

ICO Coffee Data



  • ICO Coffee DataOther countries with high coffee consumption amounts include the USA (25.3 million bags), Brazil (20.5 million bags), Japan (7.8 million bags) and Indonesia (4.5 million bags).

ICO Coffee Data

  • Looking at changes to consumption 2012/13 to 2015/16 there have been a few changes. Increases in consumption have been experienced in many countries, with the greatest being in Turkey (10.5%), Philippines (8.9%), Taiwan (8.5%), Vietnam (8.0%) and Saudi Arabia (7.6%). While falls in consumption have been experienced in Argentina (-11.5%), Ukraine (-5.1%), Egypt (-5.0%), and Madagascar (-4.9%).

The coffee production system fluctuates for a variety of reasons as has been mentioned before, and so its usual for fluctuations to take place, however it has been a useful exercise for me to examine global distribution of coffee production and changes to it, as well as global coffee consumption patterns. This data will be explored in more detail in future work.




This entry was posted in Coffee, coffee culture, Coffee Growing, Consumers, data, General, ICO and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Data Insight: World Coffee Production and Consumption

  1. cactusjake says:

    Exceptional work, as always. We too frequently forget that coffee is a real crop in real places of the world, not just this amazing liquid in my cup.


  2. Thanks, and I agree – the beans go on quite a journey to get to us!


  3. Pauline Wong says:

    This is amazing, great work!


  4. Daniel says:

    Great job! Coffee in our lives takes a rather big place, but unfortunately not everyone does it qualitatively


  5. Pingback: Telecoupling: the word that should stick in everybody’s mind – the Agroforestry blog

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