Coffee Output in India Seen Rising to Record as Rains Spur Beans

Coffee production in India, the third-largest grower in Asia, will probably climb to a record after plentiful rainfall during blossom spurred bean development, the state-run Coffee Board said.

The harvest may increase 13 percent to 344,750 metric tons in the year beginning Oct. 1 from 304,500 tons a year earlier, the agency said in an e-mailed statement today. The crop will include 239,250 tons of robusta beans and 105,500 tons of arabica variety, it said.

A bigger crop may boost shipments, expanding global supplies and potentially pressuring prices. Arabica futures in New York have tumbled 22 percent from a two-year high in April after rains in Brazil eased concerns of crop damage. Robusta prices in London have retreated 7 percent from the highest level in 17 months in March. India exports almost 70 percent of its output, mainly to buyers in Europe and Russia.

“The blossom showers were by an large adequate though the distribution of these showers was not uniform,” the board said. A long dry spell after the blossom has caused a pest attack and could negatively impact development of berries, it said.

“Adequate moisture in the soil will help fruit development till the monsoon kicks in,” Anil Kumar Bhandari, a member of the board, said by phone from Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore.

Planting of crops from soybeans to rice has been delayed by a 42 percent deficit in monsoon rainfall, which accounts for more than 70 percent of India’s annual precipitation, according to the Agriculture Ministry. That’s the weakest start to the monsoon since 2009, according to the India Meteorological Department.

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