China brewing ambitions as major coffee trade base
Not only is China's thirst for coffee growing, consumption increasing by an astonishing 20 percent each year, the nation is fast on its way to assuming a major role in the coffee business.
Founded less than two years ago, the Chongqing Coffee Exchange in southwest China has become the largest coffee trade hub in the country, as its volume of coffee trade by the end of 2017 exceeded the amount in Shanghai and Yunnan, reaching 13 billion yuan (2 billion US dollars), the exchange said on Tuesday.
The trade volume of coffee in Chongqing last year reached 9.7 billion yuan, making the inland municipality the largest coffee trade hub in China.
"London and New York are the largest coffee trading centers in the world, while Chongqing aims to become the third largest coffee trading center, so as to gain pricing power on the international market and change the existing industrial pattern," said Peng De, general manager of the Chongqing Coffee Exchange. 
Chongqing is an important transportation hub and marks one end of the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe Railway, part of the Belt and Road Initiative, and though it does not grow coffee, it is tapping its logistical advantages to boost exports of harvests from neighboring Yunnan, China's largest coffee producing province. 
The International Coffee Council said the double-digit annual growth in Chinese production and consumption have made it a larger producer than Kenya and Tanzania combined, while the annual total consumption throughout the country now outpaces that in coffee-loving Australia.
It is expected that the value of domestic coffee consumption will reach more than 600 billion yuan in 2020.
Source(s): Xinhua News Agency