May 15, 2018 / 1:17 PM / in 6 months

India cuts 2017/18 coffee output estimate by 10 percent to 316,000 tonnes

A visitor checks coffee beans at the 'International Coffee Festival 2007' in Bengaluru, February 24, 2007. REUTERS/Jagadeesh Nv/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India is likely to produce 316,000 tonnes of coffee in 2017/18, down nearly 10 percent from the previous estimate, as lower rainfall and higher temperature hit the crop, the state-run Coffee Board said on Tuesday.

The South Asian country, which is famous as a tea producer, is also the world’s No.6 coffee grower, mainly churning out the robusta beans used to make instant coffee. It also produces some of the more expensive arabica variety.

India is likely to produce 221,000 tonnes of robusta in the marketing year ending on Sept. 30, down 10.6 percent from the previous estimate, the Board said.

Arabica output is expected to fall nearly 8 percent from the previous forecast to 95,000 tonnes, it added.

India, which some say started coffee cultivation in 1670 with seven smuggled beans, exports three-quarters of its production.

Italy, Germany and Belgium are the main buyers of India’s crop, paying a premium over global prices.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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