THE COUNTRY | MANIZALES
The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (FNC) reported that national coffee production fell by 9%, taking into account that during the year they produced 12.6 million bags (of 60 kilos) compared to 13.9 million in the 2020, a difference of 1.3 million.
The decrease can also be seen in exports. 2021 closed with an export of 12.4 million bags, a decrease of 1% compared to 12.5 million in 2020.
The outlook was much more critical in the last three months of 2021 (coffee year), since 3.3 million bags were exported; while in the same period of the previous year (2020) they were 3.6 million, which corresponds to a drop of 9 percentage points.
Eugenio Vélez Uribe, Caldas delegate to the National Committee of Coffee Growers, assured that; Although the 9% drop in production exceeded the 5% that they had projected, it is estimated that the real figure is much higher, since the purchases of the cooperatives in the country also presented a drop of 30%.
“The problem is that this estimate of the downturn is based on exports, not strictly on the production that comes out of the trees. So we say that the decrease in production was much higher than that 9% given by the calculation formula”, said Vélez Uribe.
Why the drop?
The FNC attributes the drop in production to the impact of the national strike blockades in the second quarter of the year and, mainly, to climatic reasons in some Colombian coffee regions.
The Caldas delegate to the National Coffee Growers Committee commented that the drop in production is not something they can control because it depends on the weather, which was very unfavorable in the previous two years, something that could be repeated in 2022.
Vélez added: “December and January are traditionally summer to flower coffee, but we have rainfall levels well above the historical averages for these months. In such a way that from now on it can be said that there is a climatic affectation that will prevent good blooms for the second half of 2022”.
Eugenio Vélez expressed that despite the downturns, the good price of coffee was maintained, the charge oscillates between $2,135,000. According to him, these will continue this year, since there is a deficit of this food in the world.
He added that the world market is affected by the production of Brazilian coffee, which in 2019 had a harvest of 70 million bags; but in 2020 it dropped to 55 million due to climatic effects. Therefore, since that year, good prices were established for this product.
The Caldas delegate to the National Committee stated that the frosts will once again affect the Brazilian harvest, which is responsible for almost 40% of world production. Therefore, during this year, production will continue to be below global consumption, which translates into profitability for coffee growers.
“This 2022 the prices will continue to be good, but for 2023 it will depend on what happens in the coffee growing areas of Brazil”: concluded Vélez.
Eugenio Vélez Uribe said that coffee growers are concerned about rising costs. 70% of coffee production costs correspond to labor, so the 10% increase in the minimum wage will have a strong impact on the coffee grower. The main difficulty is the high cost of inputs, such as fertilizers and insecticides. “Coffee demands a lot of fertilizer and we know that in the last year its price increased by almost 200%”, said Vélez.
Coffee production fell 21% in December last year, 1.4 million bags, compared to the same month of 2020, 1.7 million.