Coffee Harvest Delays Lengthen in Vietnam as More Rain Forecast

Harvesting of coffee in Vietnam, the world’s second-biggest producer, will be delayed for a further week because of rains, according to local weather officials.

“We expect more rains to come in the next two to three days,” said, director of the Dak Lak Hydrology and Meteorology Office. “The rains will last for a few days and the dry season will start after that,” Nguong said from the biggest growing province of Dak Lak in the Central Highlands. The rainy season, which normally finishes at the end of October, was prolonged this year and has delayed harvesting by about two weeks “already”, Nguong said today.

Robusta-coffee futures for January delivery were little changed at $1,900 a ton on NYSE Liffe in London. The commodity has increased 47 percent this year. Further delays in Vietnam’s robusta crop, the world’s largest, may support prices.

Vietnam may produce 1.1 million tons, about 3 percent less than the previous crop, according to an Oct. 29 forecast from Nguyen Van An, a board member of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association. A Bloomberg News survey of 10 growers, analysts and traders last month predicted an increase to 1.2 million tons. Officials in Dak Lak, Lam Dong and Gia Lai have all forecast gains in their regions.

“The rains delayed our harvesting but they haven’t damaged production,” said Cao Van Tu, director of Ea Pok Coffee Co., a grower and exporter in Dak Lak province. “The beans could be hurt, and the output could be reduced if we have rains when farmers are in the process of picking coffee,” Tu said by phone yesterday from Buon Ma Thuot, capital of Dak Lak.

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