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Indonesian growers struggle with climate effect

From the July 2013 issue.

Indonesia has for many years been the joker in the pack when it comes to international coffee statistics. The 2012-13 crop year looks to be no exception.

IndonesiaIt is a little-known fact that Indonesia is among the oldest coffee growing nations. The world’s third largest producer over the past five years, Indonesia started planting coffee more than 300 years ago. For much of the past 30 years, Indonesia’s production figures made it one of the world’s most stable coffee nations with output between 6.5 million and 7.5 million 60-kilogram bags per year.

That all changed in the 2009-10 crop cycle when production numbers were suddenly raised to 11.4 million bags, which stoked the curiosity of many in the industry. The answer was quite easily traced to the fact that for years, nobody had incorporated the growth in local demand, which by 2010 had reached 3.3 million bags, according to figures from the International Coffee Organisation and the Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters (AEKI).

As the 2012-13 harvest is being wrapped up in Indonesia’s main producing regions on the island of Sumatra – home to between 65 and 70 per cent of total output – and picking of the new 2013-14 crop has started in the growing regions of Java and Sulawesi, uncertainty is once again prompting speculation in the market.

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