Colombia coffee production up 52% in June

Coffee production in Colombia has grown by 52% in June, when compared to the same month last year, the National Federation of Coffee Growers said Monday.

The increase in coffee production, which jumped from 471,000 sacks in June 2011 to 714,000 sacks this year, was attributed to less rainfall and new coffee plants being harvested, Reuters news reported.

Until March, Colombian coffee production was showing 12 consecutive months of shortfalls because of heavy rains and a renovation program, which put nearly 750,000 of Colombia’s 2 million acres of coffee plants out of production. But this year the renovation program has begun to bear fruit. More than 289,000 acres of coffee were renovated by the end of 2011, and this year another 128,000 acres has been completed.

“The acceleration in the rates of renovated coffee plants reaffirm the commitment of producers to the future and sustainability of the sector,” said Luis Genaro Muñoz, general manager of the National Federation of Coffee Growers.

Exports of Colombian coffee also increased 7 percent in June to 615,000 sacks, up from 576,000 sacks in the same month last year.

Heavy rains in prime growing areas caused the 2011 Colombian coffee crop to drop to its lowest point in more than 30 years, 7.8 million sacks. It was the third consecutive year that the growers association missed its goal of at least 9 million 130 pound sacks. President Juan Manuel Santos has made it a priority to support massive plantation renewal projects, which provide farmers with loans in order to renovate low-yielding coffee farms.

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