Rainfall Cuts Global Coffee Output Estimate in 2011-12, ICO Says

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) — Global coffee production in the season started last month will fall from a previous estimate as rainfall hurt crops in Asia and Latin America, according to the International Coffee Organization.

World coffee production will be 127.4 million bags in the 2011-12 season started last month, down from a previous forecast of 129.5 million bags in September, the ICO said in a monthly report e-mailed today. A bag weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

“Adverse weather conditions, which could have a negative impact on production or post-harvest activities, have been recorded in a number of exporting countries, particularly in Central America and Indonesia,” the ICO said.

Production in Guatemala, Central America’s second-largest producer, will fall 8.9 percent to 3.6 million bags as rains hurt the crop, while output in El Salvador will tumble more than 21 percent to 1.45 million bags, the London-based group estimated.

“It also seems that Colombia risks recording a low volume of production for the fourth consecutive crop year,” it said. “If bad weather continues, both production potential and coffee quality in 2011-12 could be affected.” Colombia is the world’s second-largest grower of arabica beans.

Coffee production in India is forecast to slide by more than 16 percent to 5.5 million bags, it said. Output in Vietnam, the largest producer of the robusta variety, will be 1 million bags less at 18.5 million bags, the ICO said.

Favorable weather in Africa will boost the Ethiopian crop by 27 percent to 6.35 million bags, while output in the Ivory Coast will jump to 1.6 million bags from 999,000 bags in 2010-11, according to the estimates.

The recent fall in coffee prices “cannot be explained in terms of changes in the supply and demand balance, which continues to be tight,” the ICO said. Coffee fell 13 percent in London and 3 percent in New York this year.

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