Mexico Loses 100,000 Bags of Coffee to Cold

Mexico City, March 30 – Unusually cold weather at the height of Mexico‘s current coffee harvest has damaged “a little more” than 100,000 60-kg bags of coffee, the head of the national coffee organization Amecafe said on Tuesday.

Freezing temperatures in December and January, peak picking months in Mexico‘s harvest which runs from October to around March, damaged high-altitude coffee in the states of Hidalgo, San Luis Potosi, Puebla and Veracruz.

Some of the potential harvest was completely lost to severe weather while other beans were so cold-damaged that they were unfit for export, producers said.

Amecafe head Rodolfo Trampe said in a telephone interview that the bad weather meant coffee production would likely fall in the 2009/10 season from the 4.6 million bags produced in the previous cycle. He did not say by how much.

“There could be a drop in production for this coffee cycle. We have to realize that there have been problems that will have an impact,” Trampe said.

Mexico exported 2.8 million 60-kg bags in 2008/09, Trampe said.

The Mexican Agriculture Minister Francisco Mayorga has told Reuters the country could see a drop in 2009/10 coffee production of between 10 percent and 14 percent this season.

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