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Coffee exports reach record highs: ICO report

Cumulative exports for the first nine months of the coffee year 2010/2011 reached 80.7 million bags, the highest ever recorded according to a report by the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) released in mid-August. 

The number represented an increase of 15.9 per cent over the corresponding period in 2009/10, which saw 69.7 million bags exported. 

"Although retail prices have increased in many importing countries, consumption remains buoyant, encouraging strong export performance in most exporting countries," the report noted. 

The increase in exports follows a downwards correction to coffee prices that began in June and continued during July, with the ICO reporting its composite indicator price fell to $2.10 per pound in July, compared to $2.16 the month prior, a drop of 2.4 per cent. Despite this fall, price levels continue to be considerably higher than those recorded in 2010. 

The report further noted that a depreciation in the value of the US dollar in relation to exporting countries, such as the Brazilian real, Colombian peso and Indonesian Rupiah, was accentuating the impact of the downward price correction. 

The report noted that while record high exports are being recorded by all groups of coffee, the situation was different in the case of performance by region. It noted that over the last decade, the highest level of exports for Africa was recorded in the first nine months of the 2002/2003 year, while this year's levels have mainly been pushed by high export from Asia & Oceania, Mexico and Central America, and South America.

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