Decline in Honduras Coffee Exports Tied to Fertilizer Supply Constraints

Honduras, Central America’s leading coffee producer and exporter, is set to witness a drop in coffee exports for the 2023/2024 season due to adverse weather conditions and a constrained supply of fertilizers. The Honduran National Coffee Institute, IHCAFE, estimates that coffee exports will amount to 298.8 thousand tons, representing a 6.6% decline from the previous year.

According to preliminary data from IHCAFE, Honduran coffee exports in the recently concluded 2022/2023 season stood at 320.4 thousand tons, which is below the estimate for the season of 330 thousand tons. The coffee harvesting season in the region typically extends from October to September of the following year.

The limitations in fertilizer supply are significant because fertilizers play a vital role in boosting coffee yields. A constrained supply could potentially compromise the nutrient profile of the soil, thus affecting overall production. While the exact details of these constraints were not provided, fertilizer supply has been a critical component of agricultural yields globally, and disruptions can lead to considerable economic ramifications.

“The forecast for the [2023/2024] harvest is not very favorable,” stated Pedro Mendoza, president of IHCAFE’s board of directors. Given the importance of coffee exports to Honduras’ economy, the decline in output poses a challenge that extends beyond the coffee farms and into the broader economic context.

As the top coffee grower and exporter in Central America, Honduras’ production has a notable impact on regional supply and global markets. The decline in expected yield for the upcoming season, compounded by fertilizer constraints, is likely to contribute to supply-side pressures in a market already contending with various challenges.

The downturn in coffee exports for Honduras signifies a broader concern about agricultural sustainability and resource management, especially when essential inputs like fertilizers are in limited supply.

Source: Nasdaq/Reuters

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