Guatemala to leave International Coffee Organization, sources say

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GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala has begun the process of leaving the International Coffee Organization (ICO), spurred by concern over falling prices of the commodity, a government official and an industry representative said on Wednesday.

Coffee, mainly arabica, is one of the top agricultural exports of the Central American nation, which is grappling with the economic challenges of the coronavirus crisis.

The Guatemalan official said central American countries were seeking alternatives to support the coffee industry as global prices are low.

The ICO said it had not been officially informed of Guatemala’s plan to withdraw from the international coffee agreement, but it was aware “some forces in the country” were dissatisfied with ICO’s handling of the pricing crisis.

“We hope that these rumors will not materialize,” ICO said in a statement, urging Guatemala to work with other members to develop a new pact.

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