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Colombia Says Heavy Rain to Soak Coffee Farms, May Cause Slides

Colombia, the second-largest producer of arabica beans after Brazil, forecast above-average rainfall next month for coffee growers in the Andes mountains.

Precipitation triggered by the La Nina weather pattern will swell rivers and increase the risk of mudslides in areas including the province of Antioquia, the nation’s largest coffee-growing region, according to a report yesterday by the state-run Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies in Bogota.

Adverse weather in Colombia has helped double arabica coffee in New York in the past 12 months. The effect of La Nina has cut production in Indonesia and may hurt harvests in parts of Africa, the International Coffee Organization said April 6.

Rainstorms last year that knocked flowers from coffee plants in Antioquia will cut output in the first six months of the year, Jose Sierra, a committee member representing the region’s farmers at Colombia’s National Federation of Coffee Growers, said March 30.

Rainfall may ease in June and will very likely return to historic averages in July as the effects of La Nina diminish, according to the report.

Arabica coffee for July delivery rose 4.85 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $2.90 a pound at 12:13 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier the price reached $2.9095, the highest since March 10.

Colombia, which grows coffee all year round, usually increases its harvest in the second quarter and at year-end.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Walsh in Bogota at hlwalsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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