Central America Update

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A brief summary of the current situation in Central America:

Guatemala:

  • The 2015/16 harvest is expected to ramp up to full speed after the second week of October. Export companies have begun purchasing small amounts of washed coffees.
  • A runoff election for the Presidency will take place on October 25. The candidates are comedian and political newcomer Jimmy Morales and former first lady Sandra Torres of the center-left National Unity of Hope Party.
  • 2014/15 exportable coffee levels are projected to be nearly identical to 2013-14 levels, at 4 million bags.
  • Anacafe reports that exports fro, 10/1/2014-9/28/2015 were 2.85 million bags, 6.46% below the same period in 2013/2014.
  • The coffee zone is expecting 60-175 mm of rain in October.

Costa Rica:

  • Crop 14/15 is completed and final numbers are been calculated by ICAFE. Final number is approx. 1.4 million 60 KG bags, which is 3.5% below 13/14 crop.
  • Crop 15/16 is developing well. September and October has seen rain across the country (usual for this time of the year); however for the year rainfall is still down. A drier and hotter than usual rainy season and inconsistent rain regime before that will likely place a burden on the size of bean and the size of next year crop.
  • In the Brunca region, cherry size is unusually diverse. Crop is ripening faster now thanks to rains so the volume of cherry with increase rapidly. We expect a concentrated short crop and recommend caution with quality of processing.
  • Overall the 15/16 crop should be roughly similar to 14/15 in terms of size and quality.
  • Based on previous crop and preliminary enquiries of information, 15/16 is estimated on 1.45 million bags, or a possible 3.6 % increase.
  • Regions such as the SHB West Valley seems to be in a more delicate than normal situation due to weather related issues; so the crop 15/16 may be more prone to reductions than to increases as we move forward.

NICARAGUA:

  • 14/15 Crop is completed; Cetrex has not yet reported final export numbers.
  • Based on past September shipments; we estimate final 14/15 crop to be 1.82 million bags with a possible carry out of 80,000 bags.
  • 15/16 Crop after our visit is estimated at between on 1.85-1.95 million bags.
  • Differentials for 15/16 crop are already above final differentials from 14/15 crop. Some producers are asking for extremely high levels in order to discourage additional purchases and avoid saturating the market.

Honduras:

  • Shipments rose to 4.98m bags in the 12 months ending Sept. 30 from 4.14m in the previous year, after new plants entered production cycle and crops continued to recover from leaf-rust disease.
  • In the current season s, exports may jump to arecord 5.52m bags as output advances.
  • Recent dry weather had only marginal impact on areas where husbandry is poor and plants lack nutrition.