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Brazil and China’s Luckin Coffee Signal $500 Million Trade Deal

Brazil’s Vice President Geraldo Alckmin and Chinese coffee roasting and retail giant Luckin Coffee signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) this week for a trade deal involving the purchase of approximately 120,000 tons of Brazilian coffee.

According to the Brazilian state news agency AgênciaBrasil, the deal would equate to roughly $500 million in coffee exports. For the market year 2024/25, that would represent approximately 5% of Brazil’s total annual export earnings, according to the latest estimates from the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS).

By comparison, Brazilian coffee exports to China for the entire 2023 year amounted to $280 million. China recently surpassed the United States as the country with the largest number of coffee shops, with approximately 50,000 estimated.

Brazil Coffee

Luckin Coffee says it has more than 16,000 stores throughout China, making it the largest domestic coffee chain ahead of competitors such as Starbucks (approximately 6,800 stores, as of late 2023) and Cotti Coffee (approximately 7,000 stores, as of March 2024). By the third quarter of 2023, Luckin Coffee was opening an average of 16.5 stores per day.

The company operates two large production roasteries in China, including a recently inaugurated $120 million facility in Kunshan. The Brazilian news agency described the company as the “primary importer of Brazilian coffee in China.”

Facilitated by the Brazilian export promotion agency ApexBrasil, the coffee deal was one of 12 MoUs signed with the goal of boosting Brazil’s presence in the Asian market.

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