(Photo: Solución Politica)

Colombian coffee production is 45% higher than the same month last year, but international prices remain weak, said the National Federation of Coffee Growers.

This November, Colombian growers produced 1.11 million bags of coffee, which is 45% more than the 775,000 bags from the previous November.

The production numbers have recovered after a hard 2011/2012 season caused by fungal disease.

However, the average coffee price for Colombian Mild Arabica is at its lowest levels in years, according to statistics from the International Coffee Organization.

In November last year, the average coffee price was 170.08 cents per pound and this November, the average price was down to 124.65 cents per pound, a 26.7% year-on-year decrease.

Bumper Crop

Coffee growers attributed the production growth to a successful renewal program that aimed to help farmers recover from a fungus disease that gutted the industry in the 2011-2012 season.

“The coffee renovation undertaken by the coffee guild has not only allowed to have younger and resistant trees to diseases like rust fungus and climate effects, but has also been instrumental in raising productivity per hectare factor,” the coffee growers said in a statement to wire service EFE on Thursday.

Last month Luis Genaro Muñoz, Manager of the National Federation of Coffee Growers, said the problems in the markets are being caused in large part by the rise in production in other coffee producing countries such as Brazil.

MORE:  Colombia coffee prices drop due to increased international competition

New Markets

Meanwhile, coffee producers and distributors are trying to diversify their markets.  Last week, Colombia’s National Federation of Coffee Growers and Proexport, the government’s export agency agreed to team up to target 50 under-served gourmet coffee markets around the globe.

MORE: Colombia to take gourmet coffee to new global markets

In November, Colombian coffee shop chain Juan Valdez announced it would be opening over 300 outlets in South Korea. In 2002, South Korea imported $49.8 million of Colombian coffee, reported the EFE.

MORE: Juan Valdez to open over 300 coffee shops in South Korea


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