FEB 13 (SpillingTheBeans)–El Salvador’s new 2013-14 coffee harvest is unlikely to yield more than 554,300 60-kilograms bags, down a stunning 58 percent on the output in the last 2012-13 crop year, the official Salvadoran Coffee Council said on Thursday.
In a strong reminder to the market of the ongoing rust disaster in Central America, the Council said the total harvest based on picking through Jan. 31 had reached an all-time low of just 447,503 bags. Local industry officials in Salvador told SpillingTheBeans that many growers were recording yields as low as 3 to 4 bags per hectare because of the continuing negative impact of coffee leaf rust, a pest that has devastated coffee producing areas across Latin America from Southern Mexico to Northern Peru.
The new forecast also represents a sharp cut to the initial forecast for the new crop to yield 820,333 bags, but as the harvest has been advancing the Council said it had become clear that a large part of the cherries did not develop properly into mature beans and this is now resulting in significantly lower yields.
During the 1990s El Salvador’s coffee growers produced an average between 2.4 million and 2.5 million bags in annual output, but since the coffee crisis hit in 2001, when world prices collapsed to historic lows, the industry has struggled to recover. In the 2010-11 crop cycle the Salvadoran harvest yielded 1.86 million bags — the biggest crop in over a decade — only the next year to be hit by the most severe outbreak of coffee rust in history in Central America.
For the statement in Spanish, please see: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/212450443/Comunicados%20y%20Convocatorias/NUEVO%20ESTIMADO%20DE%20COSECHA%202013-2014.pdf
That is a big drop. 2012-2013- El Salvador produced 1,242,000 bags of coffee, now it’s 554,300
In 2012-2013, according to ICO, the other Centroamerican countries had produced the following bags of coffee.
1,342,000 – Nicaragua
4,900,000 – Honduras
3,143,000 – Guatemala
1,671,000 – Costa Rica
Nicaragua and Honduras has projected to be 20% less for 2013-2014. If what happened in El Salvador happened in these other countries, this is some frightening stuff. if 30-40% of Central American is wiped out, that’s 4,000,000 less bags of coffee.
Yes Scott, I totally agree with you, and that’s where – again – my reference to that “buffer” of a larger crop in an up-cycle in Brazil is pretty much all there is left and that is now gone too! And then you haven’t even included Mexico and Peru, where production is also down 20-30% on last year, which already was down from normal levels… that’s where we end up with the overall cut of at least 40% to the CentAm-Mexican harvest in 2013-14 compared to 2011-12. Roasters beware, this could become very expensive!
Amazing coffee movement, scary more like it. Though news all in Brasil, I thought to share some other news from Honduras.
Right now Honduras is estimating 4.5 million bags of coffee for this year from a high of 5.9 million bags in 2011-2012 cycle. But they are blaming the decrease production of coffee not to just coffee rust, but “leakage” or smuggling of coffee to Guatemala and Nicaragua. Two reasons, price sold is better, no taxes, no export fees. And the other, because Guatemalan and Nicaraguan beneficios oversold their coffee and needed coffee to cover themselves. Now the prices has gone up, I bet those Honduran farmers are kicking themselves. Should’ve kept the coffee safe at home!!! The links are in Spanish from La Prensa in Honduras.
Yes it is scary Scott, and not exactly sustainable to have such crazy price movement, but that’s what happens — sadly as predicted since over a year ago — when the market and its key players ignore the basic issues moving fundamentals on the ground. I am in the middle of a lot of last-minute hectic travel preparations, but thanks for taking the time to post all these excellent comments and I will get back with more details, and some perhaps surprising observations, in the next few days 🙂
Good luck on the trips! You will have alot of origin information to share that is just bubbling up to mainstream analysts. If you speak in Taipei or Shanghai, I’ll make sure to attend! Buen viaje! – Scott
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