Bloomberg News

Brazil’s Coffee Growers Have Harvested 25% of the Robusta Crop

May 11, 2012

Coffee growers in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, have harvested almost 25 percent of this year’s robusta crop, according to broker Flavour Coffee.

The country, which is the biggest grower of the arabica variety and ranks second in robusta production, will harvest 50.4 million bags of coffee in the 2012-13 season, the Ministry of Agriculture’s crop-forecasting agency, known as Conab, said yesterday by e-mail. Arabica output will total 38.1 million bags and robusta 12.3 million bags, it said. A bag weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

“New crop arrivals keep improving,” the Rio de Janeiro- based broker said in a report e-mailed yesterday, adding that less than 15 percent of the robusta harvest was available because drying and peeling processes were not done yet.

Arabica coffee is grown mainly in Latin America and favored for specialty drinks such as those made by Starbucks Corp. (SBUX:US) Robusta beans are harvested mainly in Asia and parts of Africa and are used in instant drinks and espresso.

Buyers of conilons, as Brazilian robusta beans are known, are paying a premium of 4 cents a pound ($88 a metric ton) to the price on the NYSE Liffe exchange in London to obtain coffee for shipments in May, June and July, according to the broker. That is unchanged from last week.

“Prices remain firm despite the increasing availabilities,” Flavour Coffee said. “Demand is getting close to the level of the offers.”

The weather will remain dry today in Brazil’s coffee growing areas, the broker said. A cold front will bring rains over the weekend and in the beginning of next week though temperatures will be “far” from freezing.

Robusta coffee for July delivery slid 0.1 percent to $2,097 a ton by 9:39 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. Arabica coffee for July delivery fell 1.1 percent to $1.7665 a pound in New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at Ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at Ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.


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