Colombia Cuts Coffee Output Forecast by 5.9% After Storms

Colombia, the second-largest supplier of Arabica coffee beans after Brazil, trimmed its 2011 production estimate by 5.9 percent following rainstorms.

Output will slide to 8 million bags this year from 8.9 million bags last year, a spokeswoman at Colombia’s National Federation of Coffee Growers, who can’t be identified because of federation policy, said today by telephone in Bogota.

Coffee has rallied about 14 percent in a year as adverse weather in Colombia erodes inventories of Arabica favored by brewers such as Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) The cut in Colombia’s harvest forecast is the second since Nov. 4, when federation Chief Executive Officer Luis Munoz predicted output of 8.5 million bags, down from a prior estimate of 9 million bags.

Munoz lowered the forecast after October production slumped 19 percent to 656,000 bags. Each bag of coffee weighs 60 kilograms, or 132 pounds.

Arabica coffee for December delivery slid 2.5 cents, or 1 percent, to $2.3640 a pound at 11 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

The weather pattern La Nina that brought above-average rainfall earlier this year and last year may return from December to March, Colombia’s weather agency, the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies, said in October.

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