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Coffee Production Estimate Raised at ICO on Vietnam Harvest

Global coffee production for the season ending this month will be higher than first estimated as output expands in Vietnam, the biggest grower of robusta beans, according to the International Coffee Organization.

World production will total 132.7 million bags for the 2011-12 season, the London-based group said in a report e-mailed today. That compares with last month’s 131.4 million-bag forecast and 134.3 million bags a year earlier.

“This revision is mostly attributable to better-than-expected levels of production in Vietnam, which is now estimated at 21 million bags, up 7.9 percent,” the ICO said. Each bag weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

Production of robusta, used in instant coffee and espresso, will rise to 51.5 million bags from 49 million bags a year earlier, the ICO estimated. That will boost the variety’s share of global output to almost 39 percent from 36.5 percent a year earlier, according to the report.

Coffee consumption expanded 0.5 percent to 137.9 million bags last year, below the 10-year average of 2.3 percent, ICO data showed. Consumption in importing countries dropped 0.7 percent, with U.K. usage falling as much as 6.7 percent. Demand gained 3.3 percent in producing nations and slid 2 percent in emerging markets, according to ICO figures.

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