Columbia’s coffee exports rebounded in October, as bags that had been piling up as a result of the truckers’ strike were released, and government measures to relax restrictions on purchases from growers kicked in.
Coffee exports in October from Colombia, the second-ranked arabica coffee growing nation, rose 6.4% to 1.2m bags in September, the National Coffee Growers’ Federation revealed.
This was the highest level of exports in 10 months, and indeed the best October figure in 24 years, boosted by pent up demand for Colombian supplies after disruptions to shipments from industrial action.
Exports had slumped due to a 45-day trucker’s strike due to which there were delays in transportation, a subsequent glut in ports and overall processing slowness.
Also, a strike in Chile’s San Antonio port from September 9-22 meant that many ships did not stop at the Buenaventura port in Colombia.
These issues caused Colombia’s September exports to fall by 17% from a month earlier, and provoked a large build-up of stocks.
They remain, for the first 10 months of 2016, below levels for the same period last year.
However, export volumes are likely to remain buoyant for now, said Shweta Upadhyaya, analyst at Global Coffee Monitor, Agrimoney.com’s sister publication.
“Volumes that were stored because of the strike are being released now,” she said.
The October-to-December quarter is usually the peak season of Colombia’s coffee exports.
“The build-up means there will be an increase in exports,” Ms Upadhyaya said.
As an extra boost to volumes, last month, Colombia announced a spate of measures to increase exports to help farmers in the country, who are struggling with drought conditions as a result of the El Nino.
Historically, the country has exported only its finest beans, but the federation changed export standards so growers could also sell the lower quality beans.
Colombia’s coffee production last month was pegged by Fedecafe at 1.40m bags, up 2.0% year on year, and the best October figure since 1998.
However, the output data, being based in part on export data, are viewed with degree of scepticism by analysts, and had previously shown five successive months of year-on-year decline.
Nonetheless, the data show Colombia’s output for the 10 months of 2010, at 14.0m bags, up by more than 400,000 bags year on year.
Colombia’s coffee production is being buoyed by the coming on line of trees planted in a rust prevention drive early this decade.
(Source – http://www.agrimoney.com/news/colombias-coffee-exports-rebound-after-end-of-strikes–10125.html)