Coffee output in Central America and Mexico may tumble as a disease affecting foliage spreads, prompting governments to take emergency measures to protect farms responsible for 14 percent of global production.
Guatemala, Central America’s second-biggest coffee grower, may lose a third of its crop because of leaf rust, President Otto Perez Molina said yesterday in Davos, Switzerland.
The crop in Costa Rica may be 30 percent to 40 percent smaller because of the fungus, President Laura Chinchilla said in a separate interview in Davos. Coffee exports from Honduras, the region’s biggest grower, will be down 767,000 bags due to leaf rust, also called roya, the Honduras Coffee Institute said.
Coffee production in Mexico and Central America will be 19.7 million bags in the 2012-2013 season that started Oct. 1, the International Coffee Organization estimated in a report on Jan. 9. That is 2.8 percent lower than the previous forecast of 20.3 million bags, data from the London-based group showed.
Farmers around the world will harvest 144.1 million bags, the ICO estimates. A bag of coffee weighs 132 pounds.
“In the next few months when demand increases, the market will realize that the countries south of Mexico to Peru do not have the amounts of coffee expected and that there will be less availability of high-quality coffee,” said Ronald Peters, executive director of the Costa Rican Coffee Institute, adding that higher temperatures and below normal rainfall may have helped fuel the outbreak.
FROM | www.bloomberg.com
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