Bloomberg News

Brazil’s Government May Stockpile Coffee in 2012 to Help Farmers

March 29, 2012

Brazil, the world’s biggest coffee producer, may stockpile beans to help farmers as production this year climbs to a record, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Coffee output will probably rise to a record in the 2012-13 season starting in July as trees enter the higher-yielding half of a two-year cycle, the government said. Production is expected to be 49 million to 52.3 million bags, exceeding the high of 48.5 million bags in 2002, according to a Jan. 10 report from Conab, the government’s crop forecasting agency. A bag of coffee weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

“What we can do to adjust the balance is take the product off the market, find more markets to sell it, or utilize it in the domestic market,” Mendes Ribeiro Filho, the country’s agriculture minister, said in an interview in London today.

Brazil may overtake the U.S. as the world’s top coffee consumer, he said. The South American country consumed 18.9 million bags of coffee in 2010, up 4 percent from a year earlier, according to the London-based International Coffee Organization. That compares with 21.8 million bags used in the U.S., the biggest consumer and an increase of 1.6 percent, ICO data show.

Brazil, the world’s largest producer of sugar, will invest in the industry after production in the Center South, the country’s main sugar cane growing region, fell for the first time in a decade, the minister said, without providing a figure.

Sugar cane output in the 2011-12 season through Feb. 15 was 494.3 million metric tons, down 11 percent from a year earlier, industry group Unica estimates.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Deane at jdeane3@bloomberg.net


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