Vietnam’s coffee export projected to plunge this year

Vietnam’s coffee export this year is predicted to plunge by 20% to 30% compared to 2016 due to bad weather.

Nguyen Viet Vinh, general secretary of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association (Vicofa), said the country last year shipped abroad approximately 1.79 million tons of coffee worth USD $3.36 billion, up 33.6% in volume and 25.6% in value against the previous year.

Vicofa forecast the country’s coffee exports this year might tumble 20% to 30% to about only 1.3 million tons. Vinh ascribed the sudden fall this year to the impact of El Nino, causing drought in the Central Highlands, the key coffee growing area, and cold weather in northern provinces.

In addition, the growing acreage of replanted coffee along with the massive planting of pepper and fruit trees has contributed to the fall in coffee output for export in the 2016-17 crop. This also poses many challenges for the sustainable development of coffee in the Central Highlands, Vinh added.

According to the coffee replanting program initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, approximately 120,000 hectares of coffee will be replanted in the Central Highlands region between 2014 and 2020. However, work on the scheme has been slow given financial distress. One of the reasons is high interest rates for bank loans.

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