World coffee output appears to be on for a "significant"
increase despite falling a little short of initial hopes, the International
Coffee Organization said, estimating declines in only two major producing
The intergovernmental group, in its first detailed estimates
for the world coffee harvest in 2012-13, pegged it at a 146.0m bags,
short of an outline forecast of "around 147m bags" made last month.
Nonetheless, "early indications are that world coffee
production will increase significantly", by 8.4% year on year at current estimates,
the organisation said.
While the ICO has failed yet to release an estimate for 2012
coffee consumption, the downgraded forecast still appears in line with the
expectations of many observers of a return to a world coffee production
Consumption, which "remains resilient", was 139.0m bags last
The increased output reflects a 16.1% rise to 50.5m bags in
output in Brazil, the top producing country, enjoying an "on" season in its
two-year cycle of higher and lower harvests.
This total comprises nearly 40m bags of arabica beans, and
12.5m bags of robusta.
However, Colombia, the second-ranked arabica producer, will
enjoy even stronger growth, of 17.7% to 9.0m bags, after a succession of
seasons where output has been held back by poor weather and the knock-on effect
of a replanting programme.
And output in Indonesia, a major robusta producer, will rise
by 35% to 11.7m bags, recovering from a "weather-affected crop" last season,
with "early signs" that Uganda's coffee crop will recovered from last season's levels,
which were depressed by low rainfall to 2.8m bags,
Indeed, among major producing countries, only Honduras, with
a 9.6% drop to 5.4m bags in its harvest, and Vietnam, with an 8.6% fall to
22.0m bags, are on for a smaller crop, on ICO forecasts.
Both countries enjoyed bumper harvests in 2011-12.
However, harvests Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala "could
yet be curtailed by the spread of coffee leaf rust, which is affecting several
countries in Central America", the ICO said.
Arabica coffee for March stood 1.8% at 149.65 cents a pound
in New York in late deals, while London arabica beans for March were 0.2%
higher at $1,884 a tonne.