World coffee production this year will be about 62.2 billion bags, down 16 per cent from last year, the Agriculture Department said yesterday.
Department analysts added that the drop in "exportable production" was even greater.
The analysts said the cost of green coffee imports in 1976 rose to $2.63 billion, an increase of over $1 billion from the $1.56 billion that flowed out to coffee-growing nations in 1975.
In the production report, officials said exportable supplies for the current season are now supplies for the current season are now estimated at 45.3 million bags, down 10.1 million bags from 1975-76.
Estimates in Brazil, the world's largest producer where a drop in production caused by a 1975 freeze was responsible for sending coffee prices to record levels, were unchanged, officials said.
Agriculture officials said U.S. coffee imports in the 1976 calender year totaled 19.8 million bags valued at $2.63 billion. This was a drop of 2.5 per cent in the amount of coffee imported, but the cost was up 68 per cent from 1975.
The report said that as of March 1, the International Coffee Organization's reported composite import price for green coffee in New York was $2.90 a pound compared with a January average of $2.18. Average prices for the years 1976 and 1975 were $1.42 and 71.8 cents.