Honduras 2022-2023 coffee harvest expected to rebound after current season disappoints

TEGUCIGALPA, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Honduras is expected to export in the 2022-2023 coffee harvest season some 5.5 million 60-kg bags, 17.7% more than what was sold the previous season, an official from the Honduras Coffee Institute (IHCAFE) said on Wednesday.

The boost follows a smaller 2021-2022 harvest and months of falling exports due to the impacts of low global prices and an orange-colored fungus known as leaf-rust.

Honduras, the largest coffee exporter in Central America, had by Wednesday sold 4,690,653.89 60-kg bags in the 2021-2022 season, which concludes next month.

The smaller 2020-2021 harvest had pushed IHCAFE to lower its forecast 20.6% from its initial projection of just over 5.8 million 60-kg bags.

But rebounding prices on the global coffee market are pushing farmers to produce more, promising to reverse falling exports of the country's arabica beans.

"For the new harvest, we have an export availability of 7.2 million quintals (5,520,000 60-kilo bags), as a result of higher productivity due to better farm management, stimulated by prices for the bean on the international market," IHCAFE manager Adilson Avila told Reuters.

The export forecast was announced as rains in Honduras have caused damage to road infrastructure in 60 communities in 12 of the country's 15 coffee-growing departments.

(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia)

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