Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Lines
Oversupply Of Coffee Seedlings Leads To Price Drop
Ho Chi Minh City - The trend to plant new coffee trees in Dak Lak and other neighboring provinces last year pushed seedling prices up to about $0.60/seedling, prompting large numbers of people to start growing them since early this year.
Farmers made good profits last year, but now many of them are incurring great losses. The oversupply has led to a critical price drop, from approximately $0.11-$0.24/seedling in June to only around $0.01-$0.06/seedling last month. Meanwhile, the cost to grow a seedling is already about $0.05-$0.15.
According to local sources, the supply this year has far exceeded the demand as the Central Highlands provinces have stopped expanding their coffee growing areas.
Cooxupé Reports Yield Losses In Coffee Processing
São Paulo - Cooperativa Regional de Cafeicultores em Guaxupé (Cooxupé) confirmed yield losses in coffee processing, in view of weather problems along the crop development, demanding more coffee beans to produce a bag of processed coffee. That may impact the ending figures of the Brazilian crop.
A report by Cooxupé’s technical development manager, Joaquim Goulart, said that the cooperative areas of action showed average yield losses of 3.5%. In the area the cooperative covers in southern Minas Gerais, the yield will likely be 2% lower than predicted. In the areas covered by the cooperative in Cerrado Mineiro, the losses were put at 7.6%, while in São Paulo the loss hits 1%.
Usually 420 liters are required to make up a 60-kg bag of processed coffee, but now 454 liters are required, Goulart said. Goulart pointed out that regions outside the Cooxupé cooperative scope have reported even higher yield losses.
Volunteers Mobilize To Save Harvest
Yateras - According to Cuban daily Juventud Rebelde, volunteers of different professions mobilized in Yateras to harvest the greatest amount of coffee beans possible. Approximately 100,000 bags of coffee were affected by hurricane Ike in this eastern Cuban locality of Guantanamo province.
According to preliminary assessments, Guantanamo lost over 328,000 bags of coffee. Emilio Rivera, official of the Provincial Coffee Direction, assured that a great part of the fallen beans could be recovered, if they are picked and processed before they rot.
Aceh’s Export Up
Jakarta - Aceh’s Arabica coffee exports in the first half of this year jumped 55% to $15.22 million from $9.81 million in the same period last year.
The rise was encouraging and it has increased the income of coffee growers, said the head of Aceh Provincial Industry, Trade, Cooperatives and Small Businesses Office, Cipta Hunai. “Since security conditions in the province became conducive after decades of conflict, growers had been encouraged to cultivate coffee on a large scale,” Hunai said.
Government To Subsidize Coffee Processing In India
Delhi - The Indian government plans to introduce subsidies to promote the domestic coffee industry. The government will “pay 25% of the cost of equipment, including transportation and duties, to build roasting capacities,” said GV Krishna Rau, chairman of the Coffee Board, in a recent interview.
India produced 4.85 million bags of coffee in 2007. About one-third of last year’s output was roasted in India, mainly for domestic consumption.
Mission Grounds Gourmet Coffee Helps With Back To School Supplies
Atlanta - Kroger and Mission Grounds Gourmet Coffee completed a back to school book bag and school supplies drive to help over 5,000 of metro Atlanta’s homeless children. Kroger stores in 19 metro Atlanta counties served as exclusive collection sites for book bags and other essential school supplies.
Mission Grounds Gourmet Coffee, a nonprofit purveyor of gourmet coffee that provides aid to underprivileged children globally, has used all the proceeds it received from Kroger customers purchasing its product during the drive to buy new school supplies and book bags. On August 17th Mission Grounds handed out book bags filled with school supplies to over 5,000 children in 29 shelters across metro Atlanta.
Metro Atlantans dropped off book bags and school supplies at Kroger stores in 13 Atlanta Counties. Currently customers can purchase coffee in 65 Krogers and on line at www.missiongrounds.com. On August 17th a huge carnival was held for the children. Doctors gave out free vaccines, updated medical records, completed eye exams and gave out free eyeglasses. Dentists conducted free dental cleanings and barbers gave free haircuts.
McLeod Russel To Buy Vietnam Tea Firm
Kolkata - McLeod Russel India Ltd has decided to acquire 100% equity in Phu Ben Tea Co. of Vietnam through its wholly owned UK-based subsidiary Borelli Tea Holdings Ltd.
“This will be certainly our first foray into a foreign country and, for that matter, for any Indian tea plantation company,” Aditya Khaitan, managing director of McLeod Russel, told The Hindu Business Line.
He estimated the cost of acquisition at about $7 million, to be paid in four installments.
Phu Ben Tea Co, which produces 4.5 million kg of CTC black tea annually is owned by SA Sipef NV of Belgium, which has major interests in rubber and palm oil.
Production at Phu Ben Tea Co, which has three processing factories, would be stepped up from 4.5 million kg at present to 6 million kg within the next two years and 12 million kg in four years, said Khaitan. The company owns 1,000 hectares, of which 80% is under plantation, and plans to acquire another 1,000 hectares. The size of investment is still being worked out but the modernization of the factories might initially cost around $1 million.
The acquisition will boost McLeod Russel’s total tea production to more than 80 million kg annually. The entire production of the Vietnamese company would go to meet export commitments. With domestic tea prices in India set for steady increases in the coming years, the domestic production would be increasingly used to meet domestic demand.
Tea & Coffee - November, 2008
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