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Colombian Coffee Production Rose 15% in January, Federation Says

Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Coffee production in Colombia, the second-biggest grower of the arabica variety favored by Starbucks Corp., climbed 15 percent in January from a year earlier to the highest level since 2007.

Farmers in the Andean nation gathered 1.01 million bags of 60 kilograms (132 pounds) last month, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation said in a statement e-mailed today. Production from the start of the 2013-14 season in October through to January was 34 percent higher, at 4.3 million bags, than the same period in the previous marketing year.

Output gains followed a program to renovate plantations started in 2008, according to the Bogota-based group, known as Fedecafe. Younger and disease-resistant trees were crucial in raising productivity per hectare (2.47 acres), Fedecafe said.

Arabica coffee futures traded in New York fell 23 percent last year partly on speculation that rising production in Colombia would compensate for a crop reduction in Central American nations, which are battling leaf rust disease. Prices fell for three consecutive years, the longest slump since 1993.

Colombian exports rose 30 percent in January to 967,000 bags, while shipments from October through January advanced 37 percent to 3.9 million bags, data from Fedecafe showed.

Brazil is the biggest producer of arabica beans.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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