Coffee producers estimate that national crops will amount to over 800,000 quintals compared to last year s production, which amounted to 1,100,000 quintals. Thus, they believe the government will keep on importing coffee to cut the deficit
Although Venezuelan authorities claim that domestic coffee production is enough to meet demand, imports increase both in volume and in value.
Recently, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Yván Gil said that "not even a single bean" has been imported this year; yet the Nicaraguan institution in charge of coffee exports reported that Nicaragua has exported 4,400 tons of coffee to Venezuela.
According to the institution's records, the Venezuelan government has paid Nicaraguan farmers USD 26.3 million for all the coffee exports made so far this year.
While the Venezuelan government has paid USD 6,000 for every ton of Nicaraguan coffee, it only pays USD 3,774 to Venezuelan farmers for the same volume. This is one of the reasons why Venezuelan farmers have complained and expect an upward revision of prices.
However, Nicaragua is not the only country exporting coffee to Venezuela. The Venezuelan National Statistics Institute (INE) revealed that 12,023 tons of green coffee were imported from Brazil between January and May this year. Thus, Brazil is Venezuela's largest supplier.
Coffee producers estimate that national crops will amount to over 800,000 quintals compared to last year's production, which amounted to 1,100,000 quintals. Thus, they believe the government will keep on importing coffee to cut the deficit.
A few weeks away from harvest time, coffee producers demand Venezuelan authorities to increase coffee prices, as current prices fail to meet the cost of production.
Coffee growers reported that producing one quintal of top quality coffee costs USD 335 and its price is USD 173. However, farmers said they are paid USD 158 in average.
Coffee producers' report
The Venezuelan Federation of Farmers said that the official cap on coffee prices has seriously undermined the sector's profits.
It is worth to point out that until 2008 domestic coffee production was enough to meet demand. Since then, the government has imported coffee to supply both coffee roasters and the domestic market.
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.