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Colombia Coffee Production Expected to Climb 8.8% This Year

Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia, the second-largest supplier of Arabica coffee beans, said production will rise at least 8.8 percent this year as drier weather aids the crop.

The nation will harvest 8.5 million bags or more of the beans, compared with 7.8 million bags last year, Colombia’s National Federation of Coffee Growers said today. Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo forecast output of about 9 million bags yesterday on broadcaster Caracol Radio.

Colombia is anticipating a recovery in production after an end to above-average rainfall that drove the 2011 harvest to a 35-year low. This year’s harvest will fall short of 11.5 million bags reached in 2008, before crop disease and wet weather reduced output. The annual harvest may surpass 12 million bags in coming years, Restrepo said.

He forecast output this year of as much as 9.5 million bags on Sept. 2. In August, coffee production rose 21 percent to 565,000 bags from 466,000 bags a year earlier. Exports jumped 56 percent to 599,000 bags from 384,000 bags, according to the Bogota-based federation.

Each bag of coffee weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds). Brazil is the largest supplier of Arabica coffee, favored by specialty brewers such as Starbucks Corp.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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