BUSINESS

World coffee prices stabilising

BANGALORE, OCT. 11. Coffee prices are stabilising with a drop anticipated in Brazilian coffee production, Nester Osario, Executive Director, International Coffee Organisation (ICO), has said.

Speaking on the global market outlook at the 21st International Conference of Coffee Science here on Monday, Mr. Osario said the Brazilian crop for 2004-05 was expected to be about 36-38 million bags; it could be as low as 33 million bags. This could lead to stability in price. Coffee prices were now at a 30-year low and global demand had remained mostly stagnant despite the ups and downs in production.

M. S. Swaminthan, Chairman, National Commission on Farmers, and M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, in his keynote address, stressed the need to insulate growers from the impact of price fluctuations. Farmers should become globally competitive now, he said.

The Coffee Board chairperson, Lakshmi Venkatachalam, said the board was promoting crop diversification and also a marketing strategy of branding coffee according to the region it was grown in. The board was hosting events overseas to promote Indian coffee as a specific brand. Abhijit Sen Gupta, Additional Secretary, Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said the Union Government would shortly announce a "revival package" for coffee growers who were facing a hard time.

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