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Extended rains to delay Vietnam coffee harvest
09 | 11 | 2010
AGROINFO - Rain is likely to persist in Vietnam’s Central Highlands coffee belt throughout this month and the rainy season is expected to end in late November, a month later than usual, a state forecaster said on Monday.
AGROINFO - Rain is likely to persist in Vietnam's Central Highlands coffee belt throughout this month and the rainy season is expected to end in late November, a month later than usual, a state forecaster said on Monday.

Concern over supply as rain delayed the harvest in Vietnam, the world's second-largest coffee producer after Brazil, played a part in lifting London robusta prices to a two-year high last Thursday before prices closed softer on Friday.

"La Nina is still active, bringing much rain to the central region, including the Central Highlands, so we reckon the rainy season will end late this month," the forecaster at the regional weather centre in Gia Lai province said.

"Rain could also continue in early December because of several cold air systems," he said.
Many exporters in Vietnam have sold fresh 2010/2011 coffee with loading commitments from December, but more rain could cause delays due to the limited volume of beans processed so far and as farmers' outdoor drying is affected.

Since the rainy season usually ends in late October, rainfall in the past 10 days has been unusually high, ranging from 80 mm (3.2 inches) in some areas in the central highland province of Lam Dong to as much as 546 mm (21.5 inches) in a district in Daklak province, the forecaster in Gia Lai said.

The Central Highlands includes five provinces, with Daklak, Lam Dong and Gia Lai topping the list of the country's largest coffee-growing provinces.

"This year is one of those years that the rainy season ends later than usual," said an official at the weather centre in Daklak, which produces a third of Vietnam's total coffee.

On Monday rain resumed in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak's capital, and surrounding areas, which prevented farmers from going to coffee farms to pick cherries, a resident in the city said by telephone.

Prolongered rain has also delayed the ripening process of coffee cherries, with only a third of this crop's cherries becoming mature in Dalak, compared with 50 percent by the same time last year, a coffee trader in Buon Ma Thuot said.

Heavy rain brought by cold air could strike central provinces and the Central Highlands from Tuesday or Wednesday, raising flood levels in a vast region already hit badly since October, according to a weather forecast on Monday.

The government said on Monday that floods had killed 24 people in Daklak and another five central coastal provinces between Oct. 29 and Nov. 7. A total of 134 hectares of "industrial crops" in Daklak had been submerged, it said.


Source: Reuters
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