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Colombia Says Arabica Coffee Production Rises 11% in April

May 8 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia, the second-largest supplier of Arabica coffee beans, said the harvest rose 11 percent in April and may continue rising for the rest of this year.

Output rose to 580,000 bags from 523,000 bags in the year-earlier period, Colombia’s National Federation of Coffee Growers said in a statement today. Each bag weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

“We expect to see a change in the trend of monthly production in the remaining months of the year like we saw in April,” the Bogota-based federation’s Chief Executive Officer Luis Munoz said. In March, the Federation said the 2012 harvest may be as low as 7.5 million bags because of excessive rains. Last year’s harvest of 7.8 million bags was the lowest in 35 years.

Coffee futures have slumped 39 percent in a year as traders forecast a bigger crop in Brazil, the largest producer of Arabica beans favored by brewers such as Starbucks Corp. Production in Colombia will probably beat the federation’s estimates for this year after flowering improved, Jose Sierra, a growers’ leader from central Colombia, said in an interview.

Sierra correctly forecast a harvest last year of 7.8 million bags, when the Federation estimated a harvest of 8 million bags.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Walsh in Santiago at hlwalsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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