Colombia, the world’s number 3
coffee producer and top supplier of mild arabica beans, could
catch up with delays in its coffee exports around October, said
Nestor Osorio, head of the International Coffee Organization.
He told Reuters television on Tuesday he expected Colombian
output to potentially rise to 12 million 60-kg bags next
season, reiterating production could fall below 10 million bags
His estimate for 2008/09 is well below the Colombian
national federation’s estimate of 11-11.5 million tonnes.
Premiums for Colombian arabicas have soared as bad weather
at the end of last year and a programme to replace old coffee
trees with more productive plants have trimmed output.
“There is a scarcity of an origin (Colombia) that is part
of many important blends,” Osorio said.
He said buyers had sought Brazilian arabicas to substitute
for much of the Colombian shortfall as Central American
supplies were used up.
“Central American output was not enough to compensate for
this shortfall,” he said.
“Brazil managed to create a substitution.”
In late May, Colombia’s Agriculture Minister Andres
Fernandez Acosta told Reuters Colombia would not default on its
export commitments despite having a shortage of arabica beans,
but saw some delays in deliveries.
Osorio said Brazil could produce close to 60 million bags
next year, up from 40-43 million in the prior season.
“This story of 60 million bags in Brazil, I have heard this
for years. It’s been years people have been waiting to see it
but it never happens for economic and climatic reasons,” said
Lucio de Araujo Dias, a trader at the world’s largest coffee
“I think it is very early to talk about what it will be
like for next year. We still have to have the flowering in
October and the financial situation has not been so good,”
Araujo Dias said.
Osorio said a fall in coffee futures over the last couple
of weeks was a correction to what he termed “an artificial
situation” created by a lack of Colombian coffee.
He also said he saw no immediate risks of frost in Brazil,
noting the futures market was currently focused on frost risks
in the world’s top coffee producer.
“More and more time is passing, and there is no frost in
Brazil,” he said.
Osorio also referred to the impact of the global economic
crisis on coffee growers.
“One of the problems is access to credit in order to
continue to produce coffee,” he said. (Reuters)