Mumbai: The nation’s coffee production, the third biggest in Asia, is more likely to meet a government target after rains revived over the biggest coffee-growing areas, helping ease last month’s dry spell that had threatened to lower yields.
The state-owned Coffee Board won’t reduce its June estimate of 293,000 tonnes, chairman G.V. Krishna Rau, said on Tuesday in a telephone interview.
Dry weather may cut harvest by 5%, Ramesh Rajah, president of the All India Coffee Exporters’ Association, forecast on 22 July.
“Rainfall in the past 10 days has been so good that it has almost wiped out the deficit seen last month,” N. Bose Mandanna, a plantation owner and former vice-chairman of the board, said.
A bigger harvest in India, which exports 80% of its output, may weigh on robusta coffee prices, which have declined 5% in the past month. Global production may climb by about 9% next season, led by Brazil, and match demand, according to the London-based International Coffee Organization.
South interior Karnataka, home to the biggest coffee-growing districts of the country, received 97.2mm of rain in the week ended 30 July, twice the level deemed normal, according to the weather office. Rainfall in the region was 10% below average in the June-July period, the agency said.
“Below normal rains won’t have any major impact on coffee as it is grown in high rainfall zones,” Coffee Board’s Rau said. “There are not many incidents of pest attacks” because of inadequate rains last month, he said.
The country’s coffee exports rose 6.4% in the first seven months of this year as producers including local units of Nestle SA shipped more to nations including Russia and Italy. Shipments totalled 151,736 tonnes, compared with 142,631 tonnes a year earlier, according to provisional data on the board’s website.