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Honduran coffee exports likely to rise 14% next season - IHCAFE

TEGUCIGALPA, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Honduran coffee exports are expected to climb 14% during the next harvesting season, a senior sector official said on Monday, citing a forecast for more favorable weather conditions as well as new plantations coming online.

Honduras, Central America’s top coffee producer, is seen shipping 6.28 million 60-kg bags during the 2020/2021 season, compared with the 5.52 million bags expected in the current 2019/2020 cycle, which concludes at the end of this month.

“We had a good winter and new areas that will enter into production,” Francisco Ordoñez, president of the board of directors for national coffee institute IHCAFE, told Reuters in a phone interview.

IHCAFE had previously expected the country’s coffee farmers to export 6.52 million bags during the nearly complete 2019/2020 cycle, but had to lower the estimate as low prices and drought weighed on the sector.

Ordoñez added that the institute has also approved new biosecurity guidelines aimed at protecting the national coffee-industry’s hundreds of thousands of workers, including those who pick the cherries, from the coronavirus pandemic.

To date, Honduran health authorities have confirmed more than 70,000 coronavirus infections and nearly 2,200 deaths attributable to the respiratory illness caused by the virus.

The coffee season in Central America and Mexico, which together produce about a fifth of the world’s arabica beans, runs from October through September. (Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by David Alire Garcia, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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