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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Value of coffee production at 5-year low

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

While more acres of coffee varieties such as yellow catuai were harvested, the value was at a five-year low.

DIANA LEONE | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Reduced prices and yields brought the value of Hawai'i coffee production down last season to a five-year low, according to a government report.

The Hawai'i field office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service said farm-level sales of coffee totaled $25.6 million in the 2009-10 season. That was down from $29.6 million in the prior season and was the lowest since $19.9 million in 2004-05. The recent high was $37.3 million in 2005-06.

Farmers harvested 6,300 acres of coffee last season, which was the second most in the past six years. But farmers obtained an average $3.20 per pound for their crop, which was down from $3.40 in the previous season and a recent high of $4.55 in 2005-06. Yield also was relatively low at 8 million pounds of dried beans, down from 8.7 million in the previous season.

BIRTH RATE LINKED TO ECONOMIC WELL-BEING

A new Pew Research Center study links birth rate changes to economic well-being, with Hawai'i being one of the few states studied in 2008 that demonstrated an increase.

The analysis showed the overall birth rate in 25 states began to decline in 2008 after rising to its highest level in two decades. It said the decline appears to be linked to the recession.

Hawai'i had the highest birth rate change of the states at 2 percent. Hawai'i's per capita income change also was among the top five states a year earlier.

FEWER EMPTY SEATS AT HAWAIIAN AIRLINES

Hawaiian Airlines said its planes were 86.1 percent full in March, up 1.5 percentage points from the same month a year earlier.

Despite the increased load factor, the total number of passengers carried fell 1.7 percent to 703,845 passengers from March 2009.

For the first three months of the year, Hawaiian's planes were 83.6 percent full, up 1.7 percentage points from the same period a year ago.

Advertiser Staff