The massive replanting scheme that has seen growers supplied with leaf rust-resistant varieties continues to pay off in Colombia, where production is steadily increasing, despite the occasional weather-related dip in production
Figures from Colombia’s Federación Nacional de Cafeteros (Fedecafe) and the US Department of Agriculture’s Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) suggest that production in Colombia declined in the last year, but the overall trend of the last several years remains upwards and 2018/19 is expected to see it rise to around 14.5 million bags.
According to the most recent figures issued by Fedecafe, production in March 2018 was a little higher than in the same month in 2017, at 37,000 bags, an increase of 2 per cent year-on-year, but figures for the year to March 2018 showed that production had declined, and that year-to-date production (January – March 2018) was down 6 per cent (3.4 million bags) compared with the same period in the first quarter of 2017. Figures from Fedecafe indicated that in the period April 2017 to March 2018 production amounted to nearly 14 million bags, a 4 per cent decline comparted to more than 14.6 million bags harvested in the same previous period. In this coffee year (October 2017-March 2018) production was a little in excess of 7.3 million bags, 8 per cent lower compared to around 8 million bags produced during the same period in the previous coffee year.
Excessive rain and cloudy conditions cause temporary decline
In its latest report on the country, published in May 2018, GAIN said that in marketing year (MY) 2017/18, Colombian coffee production is estimated to decline to 14.2 million bags green bean equivalent (GBE) after the flowering period in the main producing regions was affected by excessive rain and cloudiness.
However, the authors of the report said that, if weather conditions are favourable and renovated plants reach their productive peak, production is forecast to recover to 14.5 million bags GBE in MY 2018/19. Paralleling lower production, exports are expected to fall by 3 per cent to 13.3 million bags GBE in MY 2017/18, increasing to 13.5 million bags GBE in MY 2018/19.
“Heavy rains and cloudiness reported at the beginning of 2018 in the coffee regions reduced prospects for Colombian production,” the report said, noting that in the absence of adverse weather production will pick up again, primarily as a result of a highly successful replanting programme which has reduced the average age of coffee trees in the country from 15 to seven years and increased productivity and plant density. ■ C&CI Read more
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