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BOGOTA: Colombia, the world’s top supplier of washed arabica coffee, will close this year with production of between 11.6 million and 12 million 60-kg (130-pound) bags, ending three years of output falls, the head of the national coffee federation said on Thursday.

Coffee production fell 12% to 11.1 million bags in 2022, the lowest since 2013 and the third annual consecutive fall on delayed flowering caused by wet weather.

“The estimates for production that we have for 2023 are to end at about 11.6 million bags at least and up to 12 million,” federation head German Bahamon told Reuters. “In either scenario we would grow compared to last year.” Just as the La Nina phenomena affect flowering, the El Nino weather pattern, which brings drought to Colombia, could itself affect production next year, Bahamon said.

“If (El Nino) is prolonged for a long time and passes from moderate to critical, obviously there will be an effect in 2024, but we can’t say today,” he said.

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