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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 11 September 2015  

VN coffee output likely to slow

 Viet Nam, the world's second largest coffee exporter, will likely see output drop by 20 percent next year as bad weather and old trees undermine production, growers said.

Coffee farmers expect to produce about 1.3 million tonnes of beans during the year starting in October, down from 1.6 million tonnes grown during the last 12 months, the Viet Nam Coffee and Cocoa Association (Vicofa) said.

A long-lasting severe drought in the Central Highland provinces of Dak Lak, Lam Dong, Dak Nong and Gia Lai, where most Vietnamese coffee is grown, has hurt production. In Dak Lak alone, nearly 48,000 ha of coffee plants suffered from water shortages, resulting in a decrease of 15 per cent to 20 per cent in the output compared to those of the previous harvest.

Another reason for the drop in coffee production has been low efficiency due to ageing coffee trees and a slow progress in replanting coffee trees.

Vicofa estimates that more than 120,000 ha of ageing coffee trees in the Central Highlands provinces need to be replanted by 2020. However, farmers and businesses in the region have not been able to replant coffee trees on a large area due to a lack of capital.

Some farmers are holding around 200,000 tonnes of bean harvested from the current crop year to wait for better prices, Vicofa said.

In the first eight months of the year, coffee shipments reached 874,000 tonnes for an export value of $1.8 billion, down 33 per cent in both volume and value against the same period last year, the country's General Statistics Office said.

Germany and the United States continued to be the two largest export markets for Vietnamese coffee, receiving 14.9 per cent and 11.3 per cent, respectively.

Viet Nam is currently home to 671,000 ha of coffee trees, making it one of the country's major crop earners. Last year, Viet Nam earn $3.6 billion from coffee exports.

Coffee output has also dropped in Brazil, the top coffee producing country in the world and Columbia, the third largest coffee producer, sparking a shortage of around 300,000 tonnes worldwide. — VNS

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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