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Colombia expects lower coffee yield

Nov. 27, 2012 at 5:38 PM

BOGOTA, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Colombia's National Federation of Coffee Growers said it expected 2012 coffee production to drop to 8 million 60-kilo sacks this year.

Eight million sacks equates to about 1.06 billion pounds.

The federation had already lowered its estimate from 9 million sacks to 8.5 million. Colombia Reports said Tuesday production is traditionally about 11 million.

Hurting production is an appreciation of the peso and rains from 2011 that triggered an outbreak of damaging tree fungi.

"There are short-term solutions such as those the government is doing [providing farmers with a] $33 per load [subsidy], but long-term solutions are associated with renewal programs and planting fungus-resistant trees," said Luis Fernando Samper, communications director for the federation.

Production has also been hurt by lower prices, which are down as the peso has appreciated.

In addition, the 2012 yield follows the crop of 2011, which included the lowest yield in 33 years.

Around the globe, coffee prices have dropped 26 percent in 2012, Colombia Reports said.

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