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Region's coffee rust sends buyers to new markets

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Central American coffee market has been nearly paralyzed by fears of its worst-ever outbreak of leaf rust, as well as a collapse in futures prices, which have combined to create a standoff between big roasters and small farmers.

As a result, some buyers are looking to Brazil, East Africa, China and Vietnam for beans from the 2013-2014 crop, while Central American farmers are reluctant to sell, hoping for a bounce in prices that have slumped to a four-year low.

"People are not buying, fearful that the coffee won't be delivered, and the producers are not selling due to low prices," said Eric Thormahlen, president of the National Chamber of Coffee Exporters in Costa Rica.

Source: Reuters