Colombia’s drop in coffee production could cost $312M: Minister

Colombia’s agriculture minister said that the cost of not reaching the end of year coffee harvest target of nine million bags could be between $260 million and $312 million dollars.

Agricultural Minister Juan Carlos Restrepo Salazar said that the country is “barely close to nine million [bags]” and blamed this on harsh winter rains which affected the coffee plants during the flowering period.

The chairman of Colombia’s National Association of Coffee Exporters Jorge Vasquez said the end of year coffee crop is falling below “expected volumes” due to “strong” global demand for the bean, Bloomberg reported.

Vasquez said that harvest for this year could fall as low as 8,500,000 bags. The total harvest for 2010 was 8,923,000 up from 7,812,000 in 2009.

According to data from Colombia’s national federation of coffee growers, Fedecafe, the average production of coffee for the nine months of 2011 stands at 619,000 bags per month, bearing in mind the December crop is usually the greatest. However, the monthly average figure for 2010 stood at 743,000 bags.

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