(Updates with Braga’s comment in third paragraph.)
Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil, the world’s largest coffee grower, may produce a record crop in the 2012-13 season, said the nation’s coffee exporters’ council, known as CeCafe.
Output in the South American country will climb to 57 million to 58 million bags as trees enter the high-yielding half of a two-year cycle, said Guilherme Braga, head of CeCafe. The 2012-13 season starts in July next year. The 2011-12 harvest began in the summer and is expected to be 46 million to 47 million bags, he said.
“If the weather is favorable and rains fall in the right period, production may be higher than in the previous high- yielding season,” Braga said today in an interview at the International Coffee Organization in London. “Producers also benefited from favorable prices during the current season and therefore applied more fertilizers and tended to the crop.”
Dry weather earlier this year helped the harvest and the quality of beans, although rains are now crucial for the flowering of the 2012-13 crop, he said.
“Rains favor flowering and the lack of rainfall may affect the uniform maturation of the beans,” he said, explaining that it is better if all beans mature in the same period as there is no selection during the harvesting process.
Coffee prices climbed to a 14-year high earlier this year and growers in Brazil are planting more trees in the same amount of land, to increase productivity, Braga said.
The nation’s coffee exports will be 31 million to 32 million bags for 2011-12, down from 35 million bags in 2010-11, he said.
“Exports last season were also helped by a production shortfall in other countries like Colombia,” Braga said.
Bean inventories in the private sector in Brazil were at 9.2 million bags as of March 31. Stockpiles may rise to 10 million to 11 million bags by March 31, 2012, he said. That would cover about two-and-a-half months of demand for internal consumption and exports, he said.
--Editors: Sharon Lindores, Claudia Carpenter
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