Vietnam coffee exports may drop to 1.1 million tons in 2012

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Coffee exports from Vietnam, the world's largest shipper of robusta beans, may slow in 2012 compared with estimates for 2011, according to an agriculture ministry report published Tuesday.

Shipments may total about 1.1 million metric tons this year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development forecast in today's report. The Ministry said Dec. 27 that exports for 2011 may reach 1.22 million tons, an increase of 0.2 percent compared to 2010. The ministry didn't provide an explanation for the 2012 estimate.

A rise in domestic coffee consumption to 10 percent of Vietnam's output from 5 percent may reduce export volumes in the 2011-2012 crop year that began Oct. 1, Luong Van Tu, chairman of the Vietnam Coffee & Cocoa Association said in Ho Chi Minh City Dec. 8.

Vietnam will harvest 21.25 million bags of coffee this season, 9 percent more than a year earlier, according to a Bloomberg survey of 10 traders, growers and exporters. Each bag weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

Exports of rice from Vietnam, the world's second-largest shipper of the crop, will be 6.85 million tons to 7.35 million tons in 2012, according to today's report. The Ministry said Dec. 27 that the Southeast Asian nation may ship 7.19 million tons in the whole of 2011, an increase of 4.4 percent compared to a year earlier.

Rubber shipments by the world's fourth-biggest rubber exporter may total 883,856 tons this year, the ministry said. That compares with the 846,000 tons estimated on Dec. 27 for 2011.

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