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Date Submitted: 11/17/2012 06:39 AM

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Coffee is one of the world's most important cash commodities. Coffee is generally classified into two types of beans: arabica and robusta. The most widely produced coffee is arabica, which makes up about 70 percent of total production. It grows mostly at high altitudes of 600 to 2,000 meters, with Brazil and Colombia being the largest producers.

Ninety percent of the world coffee trade is in green (unroasted) coffee beans. Seasonal factors have a significant influence on the price of coffee. There is no extreme peak in world production at any one time of the year, although coffee consumption declines by 12 percent or more below the year's average in the warm summer months. Therefore, coffee imports and roasts both tend to decline in spring and summer and pick up again in fall and winter.

Coffee prices are subject to upward spikes in June, July and August due to possible freeze scares in Brazil during the winter months in the Southern Hemisphere. The Brazilian coffee crop is harvested starting in May and extending for several weeks into what are the winter months in Brazil. A major freeze in Brazil occurs roughly every five years on average.

1) Brazil | 54,500 |

2) Vietnam | 18,725 |

3) Colombia | 9,500 |

4) Indonesia | 9,325 |

5) India | 5,100 |

6) Ethiopia | 4,400 |

7) Honduras | 4,000 |

8) Peru | 4,000 |

9) Guatemala | 3,910 |

10) Mexico | 3,700 |

Coffee producing countries

The following is a table of the world’s 10 largest coffee-producing nations, measured in thousands of bags, for the 2010-2011 crop years. One bag weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds)...