Vietnam coffee output to rise in year, USDA unit says

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Coffee production in Vietnam, the world's second-biggest producer, will rise 7 percent next year because of favorable weather, a US Department of Agriculture unit said.

Output will increase to 18.7 million bags in the 12 months starting Oct. 1 from an estimated 17.5 million this year, the USDA'S Foreign Agricultural Service said in report posted Monday on the agency's website. Vietnam produced 18 million bags in the year that ended Sept. 30. A bag weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

Production will increase "due to reasonable rainfall during the coffee-blossoming period and the current drought of the dry season not yet reaching a critical point for coffee trees in the major coffee-growing areas," the service said. Projected output is down this year because of early torrential rains, the attaché said.

Robusta coffee accounts for 97 percent of the country's total output. Arabica production is projected to rise because of the expansion of growing areas, the service said.

Arabica is grown mainly in Latin America and brewed by specialty companies including Starbucks Corp. Robusta beans, used in instant coffee, are harvested mostly in Asia and parts of Africa.

Brazil is the biggest coffee grower.

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