Business Beat (06-06-2005) Coffee prices at high as supplies plummet by Nguyen Van Cam It’s a vicious circle – coffee growers are watching the prices of coffee beans rise (a kilogram now sells for VND16,200 (over US$1), the highest in five years) with regret, as they don’t have much coffee left to sell. When prices hit bottom last year, many of them gave up coffee for other crops, and the prolonged drought in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands), where most of Vietnamese coffee is grown, has destroyed thousands of hectares of coffee plants. The Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association (Vicofa) forecasted 720,000-750,000 tonnes of coffee as the total output for this crop, far below the 900,000-950,000 tonnes predicted by foreign buyers. Rising coffee prices on the world market prove that Vicofa’s assessment is more accurate, as Viet Nam is now the largest robusta exporter and any changes in output would certainly affect world prices. The prolonged drought is also affecting the output of future crops because it takes several crops for the planting areas to overcome the drought’s consequences. Coffee prices are expected to rise further, and some coffee exporters are talking about the possibility of importing coffee from other… Read full this story
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