Rwanda expects increased awareness of its coffee among Chinese consumers

Rwanda's investment authority said Friday that it expects to raise more awareness of Rwandan coffee among Chinese consumers as coffee export to China is on the rise.

The rise is being achieved through online sales with popular celebrities as livestreaming hosts on Chinese social media platforms, said Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in a written response to Xinhua on Rwanda's coffee export ahead of the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) scheduled for November.

 

Coffee, a leading export crop of Rwanda, was one of the main products promoted by the central African nation during the last CIIE.

 

In May, 1.5 tonnes of Rwandan coffee beans were sold out in a second via China's livestream sales, amid COVID-19 disruption to Rwandan trade, both in export and import.

 

RDB has been encouraging more Rwandan companies to start trading online, it said, expressing hopes that more companies will join this year to achieve higher volumes of export to China.

The government is also working with companies to increase their production and supply to meet China's demand, RDB added.

Coffee export to China was on the rise before the outbreak of COVID-19, with several Rwandan companies exporting to China, the board said, adding that the demand fell drastically amid the pandemic and the closure of airports.

Rwandan exporters currently face a challenge of fluctuating export costs, which affect the final price to consumers and sales in general.

Rwanda's coffee export in April stood at 90,993 kg, with 240,495 U.S. dollars revenues, decreasing from over 1.16 million kg in April 2019 when revenues reached around 3.33 million dollars, marking a 92-percent decline in quantities and a 93-percent decline in revenues, according to the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB).

In April, only four countries imported Rwandan coffee with "few quantities," while in normal circumstances, more than 10 countries import Rwandan coffee, according to the NAEB.

The CIIE, a trade fair held annually in Shanghai since 2018, is the first exhibition dedicated to import in the world and saw fruitful outcomes in the past two expos.

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