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VietNamNews

Drought pushes up coffee prices

Update: April, 04/2013 - 08:55
Drying coffee beans in Dak Lak Province. Coffee prices will continue to climb in the medium term due to the prolonged drought in the Central Highlands region. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Huy

HA NOI (VNS)— The price of coffee will continue to climb in the medium term due to the prolonged drought in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) region.

The output would decrease by 30 per cent, predicted the Viet Nam Coffee-Cacao Association (Vicofa).

Statistics from the provincial department of agriculture and rural development showed that 55,000ha out of the total 500,000ha of coffee-growing areas were suffering from drought. About 95ha had completely withered.

Average rainfall in the region was estimated to be 30 per cent lower than previous years, especially in Dak Lak Province, meaning that reservoirs did not contain adequate water.

Vicofa estimated that around 70 per cent of the region's total coffee area was thirsting for water.

In the first half of March, news about the drought pushed the price of coffee up from VND38 million (US$1,800) per tonne to VND46 million ($2,200) within 10n days – the highest price jump in two years.

However, increased rain at the end of the month brought prices back down.

According to the association, the recent rain would not end the drought. Therefore, it urged farmers and enterprises not to hurry to sell their coffee because the price was expected to increase.

An expert from Vicofa worried that the drought would affect the quality of coffee and create conditions for buds and fungi to develop, damaging the trees.

Meanwhile, Bao Minh Insurance Corporation recently halted the sale of drought insurance for coffee in Dak Lak Province, according to newspaper Thoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon.

Ho Hai Dang, a representative from the agricultural insurance company, said that the company suffered losses from offering drought insurance in the past two years.

Since not many local farmers used the insurance, the company could not afford to pay compensation. Dang recommended that the government support the company to develop this type of insurance. — VNS


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