Colombia's coffee production down 12% year-over-year to 7.8 million 60-kg bags in 2011, as increased rains from La Nina cut productivity, Colombian Coffee Growers Federation says; estimated value of coffee exports up 29% to US$2.85M

BOGOTA, Colombia , January 23, 2012 (press release) – The La Nina phenomenon that has struck Colombia with a significant increase in rains, led to a reduced productivity of Colombia’s coffee plantations. As a result of the phenomenon’s persistence over the last years, coffee production decreased 12% reaching 7,8 million 60 kilo coffee bags in 2011. Nonetheless, in 2011 the total crop value increased 13%, reaching US$ 2.5 billion.

In addition, total production was also the result of the number of coffee hectares that were renewed in the last three years, whose trees are not yet producing. Since coffee trees begin to produce significant volumes in the third year after being renovated, the 300 thousand hectares renovated in Colombia from 2009 to 2011 are still unproductive. This means that crop renovation was another cause of the decrease in coffee production.

During 2011 the FNC set ambitious goals regarding crop renovation programs with resistant varieties to coffee leaf rust. The successful initiatives led to the renovation of 117.000 hectares of coffee, a country record. According to Luis G. Muñoz, CEO of the FNC, “We are very pleased with the implementation of the FNC’s crop renovation programs which have compliance rates near or above 90%. The fact that coffee grower income actually increased despite the reduced production brings a respite to what has been a very difficult period.”

Exports

In 2011 Colombian coffee exports reached 7,7 million 60 kilo bags. The estimated value increased 29%, reaching US$ 2.846 million, 632 more millions compared to the US$ 2.214 million of 2010.

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