Colombia Sees Lower Coffee Output in Early 2012 Amid Rain

Colombia, the world’s second-largest supplier of Arabica coffee, forecast lower output early next year after wet weather cut this year’s crop to a two-year low.

Farmers are bracing for more rainstorms because of the weather pattern La Nina, which may last “at least” through the first quarter, Colombia’s National Federation of Coffee Growers Chief Executive Officer Luis Munoz said today in Bogota.

“We have to prepare,” he said at a news conference. “La Nina hasn’t stopped since 2009.”

Coffee have climbed about 15 percent in 12 months partly due to crop declines caused by unusually heavy rains in Colombia. The Andean nation’s harvest this year will fall by 10 percent to 8 million bags, Munoz said. The crop will be the smallest since the harvest fell to a 33-year low in 2009, according to federation data.

The nation will likely export all of its production this year, according to Munoz. Last year, the nation exported 7.8 million bags, according to federation data.

Lower output in Colombia has contributed to a “scarcity” of Arabica beans and a drop in global inventories equivalent to about two months of consumption, Munoz said.

Arabica coffee for December delivery rose 0.15 percent to $2.3290 a pound at 11:52 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Brazil is the largest producer of Arabica beans. Each bag of coffee weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

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