Biggest Central America producer had collected smaller crop
Warning comes as tight world supplies boost prices in New York
By Marvin G. Perez
Coffee exporters in Honduras are facing possible delays tied to the coronavirus outbreak as local municipalities clash with central government orders.
The Honduran government extended a lockdown through April 12, and while coffee exporters are exempt, municipalities are imposing restrictions that may slow bean trade, Miguel Pon, executive director of the nation’s largest exporter group Adecafeh, said in a telephone interview from Tegucigalpa.
“In the coming weeks, we are going to see what effect the government’s decisions regarding the COVID-19 emergency will have,” Pon said. Some local authorities in coffee-growing regions are “unilaterally making decisions that hinder the transfer of coffee to the processing mills for export in San Pedro Sula and Villanueva” regions, he said.
The warning comes following a smaller crop harvested this season, partly because low prices in recent years are discouraging farm investments. That’s helping reduce arabica stockpiles at ICE-monitored warehouses amid strong cash market prices.
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