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Colombia Cuts Coffee Subsidy Over Price Surge

Colombian coffee growers, who last year received about half of their income from government subsidies to prop them up during a slump in prices, did not receive a penny of state aid on Monday, but they may not even care.Arabica futures surged on Monday in Chicago to a 16-month high of around $1.793 per lb, nudging local rates above a 700,000 peso ($340) per 125 kg (275.6 lbs) bag cut-off point beyond which the subsidy is suspended, the first time this has happened since the subsidy was launched in October 2012."There won't be any subsidy paid today," said an employee at the farmer-funded National Coffee Growers' Federation, which on Monday reported prices of between 707,875 pesos per bag and a higher rate of 711,500 in a coastal region with lower transport costs.The breathtaking surge of nearly 60 percent in arabica prices since Jan. 1, has been amplified by a simultaneous 6-percent weakening in Colombia's peso currency, putting more pesos in growers' hands when they exchange the dollar...

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