Typhoon Noru to bring heavy rains to Vietnam's coffee belt

The storm could disrupt the coffee harvest, which usually runs from October through early January. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

HANOI - Typhoon Noru is expected to bring extensive downpours to Vietnam's coffee belt in the Central Highlands, threatening to delay harvest in the world's second-biggest coffee producer and top robusta supplier.

The storm may delay bean collection by about one or two weeks, said Ms Tran Thi Lan Anh, deputy director of coffee exporter Vinh Hiep, based in Gia Lai province.

She was expecting the harvesting to start in mid-October.

Central Vietnam is on high alert, with residents reinforcing their homes and relocating boats as Noru, one of the strongest storms in 20 years, is set to hit the region this week.

The storm could disrupt the coffee harvest, which usually runs from October through early January, and increase the risks to global supply. Benchmark robusta prices have already surged in recent months.

The provinces of Kon Tum and Gia Lai may each get 300mm to 500mm of rain in five days from Monday, with some locations likely to receive as much as 600mm, said Mr Dang Van Chien, director of Dak Lak province's weather forecasting centre.

Some parts of Dak Lak and Dak Nong provinces are likely to receive 150mm to 250mm each while Lam Dong province is forecast to get 80mm to 150mm.

Low-lying areas in Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Lam Dong may have temporary flooding due to the downpours, according to Mr Chien.

If heavy rains occur again next month as forecast, they would delay coffee harvest and impact bean quality, said Mr Trinh Duc Minh, head of the Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Association.

The coffee region may receive higher rainfall in three months from October due to the La Nina weather phenomenon, the National Weather Centre forecasts. BLOOMBERG

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