Peru 2013 Coffee Exports Tumble as Demand Declines, Chamber Says

Coffee exports from Peru, the third-largest grower in South America, sank 31 percent in the first five months of the year as buyers turn to rival producers including Brazil, an industry group said.

From Jan. 1 to May 30, shipments dropped to 450,350 bags from 650,353 a year earlier, Eduardo Montauban, head of the nation’s Chamber of Coffee and Cocoa Exporters, said today in a telephone interview from Lima.

“We have a big problem with the weak Brazilian real, which is making their coffees more attractive,” Montauban said.

In the past 12 months, the currency of Brazil, the world’s biggest coffee producer and exporter, has depreciated 13 percent against the dollar, and is on pace for the third annual decline, the longest slump since 2002, as South America’s biggest economy is seen heading into recession by Nomura Holdings Inc. The Peruvian sol fell 5 percent against the greenback in the past year.

Brazilian coffee exports jumped 24 percent to 2.083 million bags in June from a year earlier, the country’s Trade Ministry said yesterday. From January to May, total shipments surged 17 percent from a year earlier, according to data from the nation’s council of green coffee exporters, or Cecafe. This year, Brazilian farmers will harvest record output for the low-yielding half of the biennial harvest, Conab, the government’s crop-forecasting agency projects.

Peruvian growers may produce 4.5 million bags in 2013, down 10 percent from a year earlier, as farmers battle leaf rust, a fungus that curbs productivity, the chamber estimates. Colombia is the second-largest grower in South America. A bag weighs 60 kilograms, or 132 pounds.

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