Vietnam becomes China's largest coffee supplier

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NANNING, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam has become China's largest coffee supplier as China has seen an increase in coffee import in recent years, according to a Chinese official at the ongoing ninth Expo of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Saturday.

China mainly imports coffee from ASEAN countries, especially from Vietnam and Malaysia, said Wang Lei, deputy secretary-general of the ASEAN Secretariat at the expo which opened on Friday in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Customs data shows that China had imported 137,000 tonnes of coffee from 2007 to 2011, totaling 365 million US dollars. In 2011, China imported a total of 43,000 tonnes of coffee, a year-on-year increase of 41.9 percent.

China imported 103,900 tonnes of coffee from Vietnam from 2007 to 2011, which amounted for 195 million US dollars, accounting for 90 percent of the total coffee imports from ASEAN countries, Wang said.

China imported a total of 15,000 tonnes of coffee from Vietnam, amounting for 31.88 million US dollars in the first half of 2012, which accounted for 96.2 percent of the total coffee imports from ASEAN countries, Wang said.

Moreover, statistics from China Coffee Association shows that there are about 13,600 cafes and 2,200 coffee-related enterprises in China with a total of 500,000 employee involved in the industry.

At present, China's annual coffee consumption stands between 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes with annual growth rate of 10 percent to 15 percent. It is estimated that China's coffee consumption will continue to rise and reach 120,000 tonnes in 2012, Wang said. Enditem

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