Monday, January 03, 2005

World coffee crisis hurts farmers

Despite being ranked as the number two exporter of coffee (behind Brazil) and number one exporter of robusta coffee, Vietnam's coffee growers struggle to stay afloat amidst a world coffee crisis in which world market prices are lower than production costs. The 2003-2004 crop is the fifth successive year which has seen the price of coffee plummet and there are no immediate signs of improving, according to the Vietnam Coffee and Cacao Association. Vietnam exported some 870,000 tons of coffee beans this year, an increase of 25.5% over last year's crop, which earned about $570 million. Since the early 1990s, Vietnam has promoted coffee production as a means of developing the central highlands. (Vietnam Investment Review, Dec. 6-12, Vietnam News Briefs, Dec. 22).


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