Coffee exports from Ecuador, South America’s second-biggest producer of Robusta beans, surged 23 percent in June to its highest level this year as changes in rain patterns boosted harvests that month.
Ecuadorean farmers exported 144,788 bags in June, up from 117,335 bags last year, the National Coffee Council, known as Cofenac, said today in an e-mailed statement. Above-average rainfall, which lasted through May, delayed harvests of Arabica beans by about two months coinciding with the beginning of Robusta collection in June, Luis Duicela, director of Cofenac’s technical division, said today in a telephone interview from the city of Manta.
Ecuador, which is also the world’s biggest producer of cocoa beans used in fine chocolate, declared a state of emergency in March in five provinces after above-average rainfall in the coastal region and southern Andean foothills washed away roads and houses and damaged more than 34,000 hectares (84,000 acres) of crops.
The adverse weather will probably shrink this year’s Arabica exports to 630,000 bags, or about 5 percent less than the council previously estimated, Duicela said.
“Harvest times for Arabica and Robusta this year have practically coincided in the same months,” Duicela, an agricultural engineer, said. “However, in general terms there will be lower production this year compared to last” because of the rains.
A bag weighs 60 kilograms, or 132 pounds. Brazil, Colombia and Peru are South America’s top exporters.
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