The devastation caused by Hurricane Eta earlier this month hit the Honduran coffee sector hard, causing farmers to lose tens of thousands of bags of beans that would normally be exported, a senior industry official told Reuters on Wednesday.
Following an almost two-week evaluation of affected plantations, national coffee institute IHCAFE estimated that destroyed trees and damaged infrastructure will cut output by 89,340 bags.
Honduras is Central America’s top coffee producer and exporter.
IHCAFE officials will not begin a second round to evaluate further damage from this week’s passage of Hurricane Iota until later this week, with results likely not available until the end of this month or early December.
Francisco Ordóñez, IHCAFE’s president, said in an interview that export forecast for the current 2019/2020 harvesting season is nevertheless unchanged at 6.28 million bags.
Ordóñez described the forecast as conservative and noted that it already included a 1.2 million-bag margin of error.
Accumulated flooding from Iota will likely add more coffee losses, as low-lying parts of Honduras have sustained major damages.