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Costa Rica Coffee Harvest Down 10%

Costa Rica News – One of Costa Rica’s main exports was not produced at the normal level due to a plant detriment. The Costa Rica national coffee harvest amount for the 2012-2013 period will fall by at least 9.8%, primarily due to the impact of the rust fungus.

The attack of this disease has increased particularly strongly in the lowlands, where an increase in temperature and a drier climate led to its development, recognized the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica (Icafe).

The crisis of this fungus combined with low international prices is bringing anxiety to the sector.

Ronald Peters, executive director Icafé, explained that the 2012-2013 coffee harvest will decrease by 232,916 bushels compared to the previous period.

The third crop estimate, made in December, places it at 2.15 million bushels of coffee. The 2011-2012 period closed at 2.38 million bushels.

The attack of rust fungus began last July and the main cause was the weather. It was drier than previous period and higher temperatures facilitated the development of the fungus.

The greatest losses were found in the areas of Coto Brus (lost at least 65,000 bushels), Perez Zeledon and Turrialba.

Peters reported that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) and created a commission to assess the impact and assist producers in the prevention of the fungus for the next harvest.

A fall harvest is joined by the decline in international prices during 2012. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the principal market, the prices fell by 43% during the year.

They went from a peak of $ 234.90 per quintal on January 11, 2012, to a low of $ 133.50 per quintal on December 18th, 2012.

This caused prices to dip from  ¢ 90,000 ($180) per bushel to this year being sold at a price of  ¢ 47,000 ($94).

Peters said the price in CR is probably a little better, because Costa Rica sells above the market price.

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