Vietnamese coffee vendors at an expo in Yunnan province in 2010. (Photo/Xinhua)
Vietnam has become China's largest coffee supplier as China has seen an increase in coffee imports 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 US$365 million. In 2011, China imported a total of 43,000 tonnes of coffee, a year-on-year increase of 41.9%.
China imported 103,900 tonnes of coffee from Vietnam from 2007 to 2011, which amounted for US$195 million, accounting for 90% of the total coffee imports from ASEAN countries, Wang said.
China imported a total of 15,000 tonnes of coffee from Vietnam, amounting for US$31.88 million in the first half of 2012, which accounted for 96.2% of the total coffee imports from ASEAN countries, Wang said.
Moreover, statistics from the 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 employees 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%-15%. It is estimated that China's coffee consumption will continue to rise and reach 120,000 tonnes in 2012, Wang said.