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Colombian coffee production rebounds

Monday, October 23, 2017

In good news for consumers everywhere, and for local producers in particular, strong growth continues for the output of Colombian arabica coffee.

Colombian production could within three years reach 20 million 1000-pound bags, according to industry representatives, as areas come under cultivation, which were previously affected by the country’s 50-year old civil war.

For the 2017-2018 growing season, Colombia is expected to produce nearly 15 million 1000-pound bags (all data from the United States Department of Agriculture).

By comparison, Colombian output seven years earlier was less than 8 million bags.

Increased production from Colombia, the world’s second-biggest arabica coffee, could be bad news for competitors in Central America and Mexico, many of whom in recent years have been affected by coffee rust fungus.

Honduras during the past five growing seasons has seen output increase by 50%, to 6.5 million bags, putting it into a virtual tie with Ethiopia as the world’s third biggest arabica producer.

Nicaragua likewise showed an increase for the period.

Meanwhile, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico have not yet reached pre-fungus levels,.

On the other hand, a drought-induced slump in Brazil this year of some 5 million bags should keep prices stable.

With output during the past five years averaging some 40 million bags, Brazil is the world’s leading producer.

Arabica is high-quality coffee, as compared to robusta, which is generally used in powdered form and food flavoring.