Costa Rican coffee exports increased 11 percent in value — an additional $30 million — during 2015 compared to 2014, according to a year-end report from the Foreign Trade Promotion Office. The president of the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFE) Ronald Peters told The Tico Times that among the several factors that are at play, the most important is coffee futures.
While international prices for coffee are relatively low at the moment — roughly $1.20/lb — growers in 2015 benefited from coffee futures negotiated in 2014 or before that paid $1.85/lb on average for Costa Rican coffee.
Peters said that the prices were welcome, since the last several years have been difficult for producers between the lingering effects of the coffee fungus roya and low prices.
“We need to take advantage of these jumps [in price] when we can,” Peters said.
As the controls for roya improve, production has started to recover.
Peters said that ICAFE forecast that the 2015-2016 harvest in Costa Rica will grow between 3 and 5 percent to more than 2 million 46-kg sacks of processed coffee over the 2014-2015 season.
And the 2014-2015 season grew by 4.5 percent over the season before that.