Nicaragua coffee exports heating up

September 12, 2008

Nicaraguan coffee exports shot up 48.9 percent in the first 10 months of the 2007-08 harvest compared with the year before, according to the Export Processing Center (CETREX).

The center reports coffee exports reached $228 million during the latest harvest, while last year´s crop sold little more than $153 million.

Higher prices are helping to drive the increase, CETREX´s latest report says. A quintal (a 100-pound sack) of coffee sold for an average of $137.60, compared with $117.70 during the 2006-07 harvest.

Part of the hike has come thanks to speculative buying by commodity investors, Henry Dunlop of New York-based Atlantic USA Inc. told The Nica Times.

But larger quantities are pushing up export dollars too. While last year saw 1.3 million quintals shipped off, this year Nicaragua exported 1.65 million quintals.

The country estimates pulling in $250 million for Nicaraguan coffee beans by the end of the harvest.

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