Brazil's 2020/21 coffee crop may be large, but not a record

Cepea, February 4, 2020 – The first estimates for the 2020/21 coffee crop indicate that Brazil should harvest a large volume. On January 16, Conab (National Company for Food Supply) reported that production may total between 57.15 and 62.01 million 60-kilo bags (arabica and robusta), from 15.9% to 25.7% up compared to that in 2019/20. Some of the agents consulted by Cepea believe that the volume to be harvested should total – or even surpass – 60 million bags.


This scenario is linked to the positive biennial cycle of arabica crops in Brazil and the good weather conditions observed since late 2019, which should favor beans filling and, consequently, yield at processing. Still, many collaborators believe production will be lower than the record hit in the 2018/19 season, based on the weather issues most part of the second semester last year, which damaged coffee trees and knocked down some flowers and fruitlets in that period.


As regards arabica, Conab estimates the harvest to total between 43.2 and 45.9 million bags in the 2020/21 crop, against 34.2 million bags in 2019/20 – from 25.9% to 34% up. Robusta production, in turn, may range from 13.9 to 16 million bags, against 15 million bags in 2019/20, which means the output may be 7% lower or 6.8% higher. Cepea collaborators believe the arabica volume may be similar to that estimated by Conab, while for robusta, agents believe production will be higher, ranging from 15 to 18 million bags.


WEATHER IN JANUARY – Heavy rains in the coffee-producing regions from Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo States were concerning agents from the sector in January. On the one hand, precipitation favored crops development, on the other hand, some locations were badly damaged. According to Cepea collaborators, rains hit some warehouses in the Zona da Mata Mineira, however, the damages have not been evaluated yet. Still, the 2020/21 Brazilian coffee crop is developing well. In general, the weather is favoring beans filling in arabica and robusta crops.


BRAZILIAN MARKET IN JANUARY – The trading pace for coffee was slow in the Brazilian market in January. Although the demand for prime arabica and robusta coffee increased late in the month, international price drops for both varieties pressed down quotes in Brazil. On January 31, the CEPEA/ESALQ Index for arabica coffee type 6 (delivered in São Paulo) closed at 473.81 BRL (110.63 USD) per 60-kilo bag, 13.57% down compared to that on December 30.


As regards robusta, the stronger US dollar and sellers’ retraction underpinned prices in Brazil during the month. The CEPEA/ESALQ Index for the type 6, screen 13, Espírito Santo State, rose 1.9% in January, averaging 309.68 BRL (72.31 USD)/60-kilo bag on January 31.


EXPORTS – Brazilian coffee exports hit a new record in 2019, according to data from Cecafé (Coffee Exporters Council). Although shipments decreased 8.3% from November to December – totaling 2.9 million 60-kilo bags (including green coffee, roasted and soluble) –, from January to December last year, Brazil exported 40.6 million bags of coffee, 13.9% more than in 2018 and the best performance in all Cecafé series. In mid-January/2020, agents from Cecafé announced that they believe Brazilian exports should continue at a fast pace in 2020, even surpassing shipments in 2019.




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