Coffee Fruiting in Vietnam Gets Boost From Heavy Rainfall

The coffee crop in Vietnam, the world’s biggest grower of the robusta variety used in instant drinks and espressos, has been given a boost by heavy rainfall, according to officials and growers.

“The weather is quite favorable with a lot of rain over the past week when the trees needed water for fruiting,” said Mai Ky Van, head of the business division at October Coffee, Cocoa Co., a producer and trading company in Dak Lak province, the largest coffee region.

Rainfall in Buon Ma Thuot, the main growing area in Dak Lak, totaled 199.5 millimeters in the first 10 days of this month, compared with an average of 55 millimeters in previous years, according to the Dak Lak Hydrology and Meteorology Office. The area didn’t get any rain at the same time last year.

Robusta traded in London climbed 11 percent to $2,001 a metric ton this year and reached $2,174 on Feb. 16, the highest level since September, on increased global demand. A better crop in Vietnam may cap the advance.

“Rains came at the right time for the crop and may help fruits get bigger,” said Huynh Quoc Thich, head of the cultivation office in Dak Lak’s agricultural department. “It also helps save farmers irrigation costs.”

Vietnam raised its export forecast for 2012 by 17 percent to 1.15 million tons, said the monthly report posted on the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development website April 3.

Bean shipments totaled 200,000 tons last month, up 24 percent from a year earlier, according to figures released on March 28 by the General Statistics Office in Hanoi.

The country may produce a record 22 million 60-kilogram bags in the 2012-2013 year, according to a forecast by Ken Goldman, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co., on April 11.

— With assistance by Diep Pham, and Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen

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