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India’s Coffee Production is expect to slump to 21 years low

Coffee production in India is expected to slump to the lowest in 21 years next season as heavy showers, flooding and landslides damaged trees in the main growing areas in the south of Asia’s third-biggest producer.

Output in the year starting on Oct. 1 might be about 25 percent lower than the 316,000 tonnes estimated by the state-run Coffee Board for 2017-2018, said A.L.R.M. Nagappan, chairman of the coffee committee at the United Planters’ Association of Southern India.

That would be the lowest since 1997-1998, government data show.

The plunge in output might be positive for global coffee prices, as India exports more than 70 percent of its production.

Arabica prices, which this week dropped to the lowest in 12 years, climbed 0.9 percent on Friday, while the robusta variety increased 0.6 percent.

Arabica prices are still down about 19 percent so far this year, while robusta prices have dropped about 10 percent.

However, for growers in Kerala State, the biggest coffee producer after neighboring Karnataka, the damage is only starting.

“We are in a bad state and we don’t know what the future is going to be,” Nagappan said on Thursday in a telephone interview.

“Not only the crop, but the plants are also damaged and that will take another three to four years to recoup. Many areas have been affected by landslides,” he said.

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