Heavy rainstorms have affected Colombia’s coffee production more severely than expected, with output now predicted to fall well below the national target.
Luis Genaro Munoz, head of the country’s coffee growers’ federation, told reporters at an agriculture conference in Bogota that bean production was now expected to close at eight million 60kg bags.
It’s a 5.9% drop from an earlier 2011 estimate of 8.5 million sacks, and one million less than the official yearly target.
Earlier this month, 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.
However, the fall in production could lead to an increase in the crop value of up to 25% this year, as scarcity pushes up prices.
The La Nina weather phenomenon has been causing relentless downpours since 2010 – rain which is expected to last until the first quarter of next year.
Too much rain can damage key flowering stages, knock beans off trees, and wash away roads crucial for transportation.