Bloomberg News

Colombia Coffee Output Tumbles 40% in June After Storms

July 14, 2011

(Adds analyst’s comment in fourth paragraph.)

July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia, the world’s second-largest producer of arabica coffee beans, said output slumped 40 percent last month after storms ravaged crops.

Output fell to 471,000 bags in June from 780,000 bags a year earlier, Colombia’s National Coffee Growers Federation said today in an e-mailed statement. Exports dropped 12 percent to 572,000 bags from 648,000 bags, the federation said.

Arabica coffee has jumped 57 percent in New York in 12 months, partly as storms in Colombia cut exports and hampered plants from flowering. The slump in Colombian production may prompt prices to climb once concern about the U.S. economy eases, said Sterling Smith, a commodities analyst at Country Hedging Inc. in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“Longer-term, this is definitely bullish,” he said in a telephone interview today.

Arabica coffee for September delivery fell 5.60 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $2.5835 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. at 1 p.m. in New York, paring earlier declines of as much as 2.8 percent.

Humid weather also has spread disease that reduces the yield of coffee plants. Colombian growers forecast production will increase in 2012 to as much as 11 million bags from this year’s estimated 9.5 million bags amid efforts to plant varieties resistant to disease, Luis Munoz, the federation’s chief executive officer, said in May.

Brazil is the world’s largest arabica producer.

--Editors: Robin Saponar, Jessica Brice

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Walsh in Bogota at hlwalsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net


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