RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In Colombia, one of the world coffee mecca’s, exports of the crop fell 52% in May compared to the same month last year due to road blockades and anti-government protests that erupted on April 28, the National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC) announced.
“As warned by coffee institutions as a result of the blockades, Colombian coffee exports fell 52% in May to 427,000 bags of 60 kg compared to the 894,000 bags exported in the same month of 2020,” the organization said in a statement.
However, exports increased 7% so far this year to more than 4.9 million bags, compared to the 4.6 million that left the country in the first five months of 2020, it added.
For the first time, the FNC did not publish the production figure for May because roadblocks prevented the passage of coffee, and thus the calculation of this item was prejudiced, explained a source from the organization.
The Arabica variety grown in the country was trading at $1.57 per pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday, a recovery from the 2020 average of $1.10 per pound.
Colombia is going through a new period of social upheaval in rejection of President Iván Duque, leading to a severe crisis with massive protests, road blockades, and heavy clashes between civilians and security forces.
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Colombia is the world’s third-largest coffee producer behind Brazil and Vietnam and the world’s largest producer of higher-quality mild coffee. Exports and production of the grain fell 8% and 6%, respectively, in 2020 compared to 2019.
For Latin America’s fourth-largest economy, coffee represents one of the most important export sectors, after oil and mining.