Colombia’s smaller coffee crop seen down 30%

May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Coffee production for the smaller of two annual crops in Colombia, the world’s second-biggest grower of arabica beans, may fall 30 percent this year as rains damage trees, according to researcher F.O. Licht GmbH.

Output for the mid-crop will decline from 3.1 million bags last year, the Ratzeburg, Germany-based company wrote in a report dated today. Colombian growers usually harvest the main crop from October to December. A smaller one, known as mitaca, is normally collected from April to June. A bag of coffee weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

“Continuing rains triggered by the La Nina weather phenomenon are seen impacting the 2012 mitaca,” F.O. Licht said in the report. “This would point toward 2012 output falling short of the 7.8 million bags that the National Federation of Coffee Growers expects.”

Total production for the year could be as low as 7 million to 7.2 million bags, F.O. Licht said, citing estimates from unidentified producers.

Bloomberg News

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