The coffee bean is the second most traded commodity in the world1.
Due to specific production requirements, coffee farming only occurs in certain geographical regions. However, it’s traded worldwide and consumed heavily all over the world.
That fact probably doesn’t surprise you. If you’ve traveled, you know you can get a cup of coffee no matter where you are.
In 2020, experts estimated the market value of coffee to be a whopping US$465.9 Billion2, falling in second place only behind gasoline3.
So, joining the international coffee trade seems like a no-brainer. And opening a seller account with Alibaba.com to join the global trade makes this decision even easier.
We’re diving into the top 10 coffee importing countries in 2022 to help you become a successful seller on Alibaba.com.
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The global market for coffee imports is enormous — and it’s growing every year.
In 2021, 9 million tons of coffee were traded globally1. This is a massive increase from an average of 5 million tons in 2001. That’s right – the industry has almost doubled in two decades.
Coffee’s trade value is so high because of its popularity, the world’s cafe culture, the production of coffee appliances, and the plethora of coffee products traded worldwide.
Some of the products offered within the coffee industry are coffee beans, instant coffee, espresso coffee, coffee pods, and more.
When you consider that consumers worldwide drink 2.6 billion cups of coffee every day, you can see the success of these products.
Many different markets and regions engage in the coffee trade. Latin America is responsible for 70% of the world’s coffee production, followed by Asia with 20% and Africa with 10%1.
So, now we know which countries are exporting coffee. But which ones are importing it?
We’ve made a list of the top 10 coffee importing countries and paired it with the data we’ve found about their coffee markets, according to Statista's main import countries for coffee worldwide report4.
Let’s break down coffee imports by country.
In the first place, we have the United States of America. The USA imported US$5.67 million worth of coffee in 2020.
Due to weather and climate, the USA is limited in producing its own coffee. This explains a large number of imported goods!
And with 62% of Americans drinking coffee every day5, it needs to come from somewhere. The great demand and the lack of local production make America the top coffee importer in the world.
Germany places second among the world’s top coffee import countries. In 2020, Germany imported US$3.38 million of coffee, making it Europe’s leading coffee import country.
And specifically, Germany is Europe’s largest importer of green coffee beans6. Germany has a large coffee roasting industry, making them a prominent coffee exporter.
The German coffee market often imports from Brazil, Vietnam, and Honduras7.
In third place worldwide, and second place in Europe, we have France. France’s coffee import value reached US$2.88 million in 2020.
France boasts a mature coffee market with a rich history of coffee consumption. Like Germany, they are known for green coffee bean imports and a productive coffee roasting industry.
And within the French coffee industry, certification and sustainability are significant trends that consumers look for and value highly.
Italy placed fourth overall, bringing in US$1.5 million in coffee products in 2020. This fact may not be surprising, as coffee is a known part of Italian culture.
Sipping on a hot espresso in a tiny cup may come to mind when you think about food and drink in Italy.
Italian espresso is a famous coffee product around the world, and because of their significant exports, they are also a major importer of coffee.
The second North American country on our list is Canada. Canada imported US$1.2 million of coffee products in 2020.
Canada placing fifth isn’t surprising once you learn that coffee and tap water were Canada’s most commonly consumed beverages in 2020 and that 72% of Canadians drink coffee daily9.
The Netherlands imported US$1.18 million of coffee in 2020, making it sixth in the world for coffee imports.
Like the other European countries making this list, the Netherlands has a large coffee import and export market. With high consumption and production rates, the Dutch are not only drinking coffee but roasting and exporting it too!
The first Asian country on our list is Japan, which imported US$1.17 million in coffee in 2020.
The increased coffee consumption in Japan over recent years signals a shift in preference from tea to coffee. With few local producers, Japan relies heavily on importing coffee products worldwide. Japan imports coffee, most notably from Vietnam, and has a big taste for instant coffee products.
Spain was the world’s 8th biggest coffee importer in 2020, with an import value of $1.01 million.
Spain is known for a good cup of coffee, and for good reason: a whopping 87% of the Spanish population drink coffee, and 70% consume coffee daily10.
Differing vastly from Japan, instant coffee products do not top the market here. Interestingly, Spain is becoming the world’s biggest market for decaffeinated coffee beans11.
Due to their well-known love of tea, you may not expect the United Kingdom to make our list of top 10 coffee importers.
But alas, in 9th place was the United Kingdom. The UK’s coffee import value reached US$1.00 million in 2020.
And interestingly enough, the UK differs vastly from the other European coffee markets we’ve looked at, with higher consumption of instant coffee.
Last but not least for coffee import value in 2020 is Switzerland. Switzerland brought in US$855,000, placing it 10th in the world.
Like other European countries, the Switzerland market values certified, ethical, and sustainable coffee products. It also values organic coffee.
Two main types of coffee beans traded globally are Robusta and Arabica.
Arabica is the world’s most popular bean, making up 60% of the world’s coffee12. Many of the top 10 importers we just mentioned prefer the Arabica bean.
Germany, the USA, and Italy import Arabica more than any other bean. Arabica is also best for those with organic preferences, so France and Switzerland favor Arabica as well.
Espresso drinkers favor Robusta due to its flavor, quality, and caffeine levels. Because of this, the countries that prefer espresso coffee import large amounts of Robusta beans, such as Italy.
If you’re considering starting a coffee business, you’ll need to figure out your product supply. And depending on the country you’re operating from, importing your coffee products may be in your best interest.
Once you import your amazing coffee products, you can sell them to eager customers with Alibaba.com.
Here are some key reasons you might want to import coffee from other countries:
By importing coffee products, you’ll be able to access more variety than what may be available in local markets.
And if you can offer more variety to your customers, you’ll also be able to sell to more markets globally.
Perhaps you live in a country that doesn’t produce great coffee products. You’ll have access to the world’s best coffee by importing your stock.
You’ll be able to decide whether you want to sell organic, certified, sustainable, or fair trade products.
You can source the world’s best coffee for your customers by importing quality products.
And by selling your products on Alibaba.com, your entire process, from buying to selling, will be simple and hassle-free.
By shopping globally for your coffee products, you’ll be able to compare and find the best prices. You can scale your business to new heights by keeping your costs low.
Alibaba.com is one of the largest B2B wholesale marketplaces in the world. Using Alibaba.com allows buyers and sellers to connect from around the world.
As a seller, you can reach millions of buyers in any country. Alibaba.com is the perfect platform to launch your coffee business with valuable insights and professional services available to sellers.
Alibaba.com also provides many helpful resources to business owners, giving them the knowledge to take their business to the next level.
By signing up to sell with Alibaba.com, you can access many benefits that will help your business scale.
Getting started on Alibaba.com is as simple as five easy steps, so don’t wait to start!
Open a seller account today and watch your business grow.