Colombia rains still hitting coffee transport
Thursday December 16 2010
Torrential rains in Colombia continue to hit coffee output as blocked roads and landslides hinder transport of beans to coffee cooperatives and mills, Reuters reported. With crops already affected by bad weather and a fungus outbreak, downpours continue to cause delays because of flooded roads, landslides and other transport problems across the country. Colombia has declared a national disaster after the severe weather conditions caused around $5 bln in damages to infrastructure, crops and livestock, forcing the government to introduce emergency measures.
In Antioquia, the country's main coffee producer, there are four major transport routes closed, the government said on December 13. Since the beginning of April, Colombia has been hit by the La Nina weather phenomenon with rains measured as the strongest in Colombia's meteorological records, the country's weather office IDEAM said. It predicts rains will last until March-June 2011 and precipitation in the top coffee producing area known as Eje Cafetero will be 30% to 50% above the average in December and January. With rains expected to continue into next year, coffee output may not surpass 9 mln 60-kg bags in calendar 2011 as growers fear plantations will not have enough sun for flowering, Fedecafe head Luis Genaro Munoz recently said.
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