Bloomberg News

Vietnam to Harvest Record Coffee Crop in 2011-12, Sucafina Says

September 30, 2011

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Coffee production in Vietnam, the world’s grower of the robusta variety, will have a record crop in the season starting Oct. 1, according to Sucafina SA, a green coffee trader based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Output will be in excess 1.25 million metric tons (20.8 million 60-kilograms bags) in the 2011-12 season, up from 1.2 million tons in the current crop year, Nicolas Tamari, managing director at Sucafina, said in an interview in Geneva today. The company has offices in Vietnam, according to its website.

“We are going to have an exceptional crop in Vietnam and this is mainly due to the high prices,” Tamari said. “There has been good husbandry and ideal weather.”

Robusta coffee prices have risen 14 percent over the past year on speculation demand would outpace supply with a smaller 2011-12 crop in Indonesia, the third-largest producer. Brazil is the second-biggest robusta producer.

Coffee production in Indonesia dropped to 7.9 million bags in 2011-12, from 9.3 million bags in the previous crop year, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. While the 2011-12 season starts in October in Vietnam, harvesting in Indonesia began in April, the USDA said.

“Knowing that there is a constant growth in consumption, it’s a very good thing to have bumper crops,” Tamari said. “In the past, we were concerned about bumper crops because the price would decline. But today bumper crops are more a security to make sure the pipeline of coffee is filled with stocks.”

Coffee production in Colombia, the world’s second-largest producer of the arabica variety, will be stable at about 9 million bags, he said.

“I don’t believe the recovery will be as fast as we would hope,” Tamari said.

Colombian growers usually harvest the main crop from October to December, while the secondary mid-crop, or mitaca, is collected from April to June.

--Editors: Claudia Carpenter, Nicholas Larkin

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net


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