March 9, 2005

Coffee production increases by over 500 percent

Zambian coffee production has increased by over 500 per cent since the 1995/1996 farming season, Export Board of Zambia (EBZ) executive director Glyne Michelo has said. According to him, coffee production had increased from 1.200 metric tonnes to 6.500 metric tonnes with export earning of about US$7.5 million in 2004. He said that some Zambian coffee growers were able to clinch outright export orders, whilst others got implicit enquiries that would be translated into export orders, thereby earning the country foreign exchange. Michelo was optimistic that coffee export earnings were likely to increase even more as a bullish coffee market seemed to be on the horizon.
Factors contributing to the positive predictions include low international coffee reserves, tight Arabica supplies, increase in coffee consumption among producing countries and the shortage of production in Brazil, the world's largest producer of coffee. Brazil's production is expected to be off-target by between 3-6 million bags. Its annual production must be more than 40 million 60kg bags to satisfy world demand. "As recovery from the coffee crisis continues, prices are well over US$1, encouraging Zambian growers to respond by increasing production," Michelo said. (The Times of Zambia, Ndola)

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