Honduras is poised for its biggest coffee export rebound in six years next season, Ihcafe said, citing a drive by the country’s producers to cash in on high international prices.

Adilson Avila, manager at the country’s national coffee institute IHCafe, said that the country would in 2022-23, as starts next month, have “availability” of 7.2m 46-kilogramme bags of coffee for export, equivalent to 5.52m of the 60-kilogramme bags which are the international standard.

Mr Avila cited “higher productivity due to better farm management, stimulated by prices for the bean on the international market”.

New York arabica futures have this year set their highest levels since 2011, boosted by production setbacks notably in Brazil, where frost and drought damage prevented output showing the upswing expected for what is an “on” year in the country’s cycle of alternate larger and smaller crops.

Value vs volume

Honduras had, for this season up to September 9, received an average of 237.01 cents a pound for its coffee exports, which account for the vast majority of the country’s production.

That represents a 56% increase year on year, and has put the country on course in 2021-22, which ends on Friday, for its second highest average export price on record, behind only the 245.69 cents a pound received in 2010-11.

The price will mean that Honduras achieves a marked rise in the value of its exports, despite a fall in volumes, which for this season up to September 9 had reached 4.62m 60-kg bags, a drop of 19.5% year on year.

Forecasts dashed

The pace of export decline is far bigger than the dip of 2.0%, to some 5.8m 60-kg bags, that IHCafe had initially expected for 2021-22, with the shortfall in volumes blamed on damage to yields from the coffee rust fungus.

Rust was blamed largely too for export disappointment in 2020-21, when shipments, at 5.9m bags, came in short of the initial Ihcafe forecast of 6.3m bags.

The spread of the fungal disease was encouraged by the humid conditions brought in late 2020 by storms Eta and Iota, which caused physical damage to plantations too.