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Coffee output in SW China grows by 11.33 pct in 2011

(Xinhua)

16:01, December 27, 2011

KUNMING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The southwestern province of Yunnan, China's major coffee-growing base, is expected to produce 55,000 tonnes of coffee beans this year, up 11.33 percent from a year earlier, the provincial agriculture department reported Tuesday.

The size of coffee plantations in the traditionally tea-growing province grew by 33.06 percent to 860,000 mu (57,333 hectares) by the end of 2011, according to the department.

Meanwhile, profits from coffee exports, totalling 26,500 tonnes, reached 119.8 million U.S. dollars in the first nine months of the year.

Yunnan contributes to the majority of China's total coffee output.

U.S. coffee chain Starbucks has been one of Yunnan's biggest customers this year, purchasing nearly 20 times more coffee from the province than it did in 2007.

The provincial government aims to produce 200,000 tonnes of coffee beans annually by 2020, and the size of coffee plantations needs to be expanded to 1 million mu by 2015.

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