Harvesting of robusta crops begins to advance in Brazil

Cepea, May 18, 2021 – The harvesting of the robusta crops from the 2021/22 season should step up in Espírito Santo (ES) in the coming days. Until the beginning of May, the high volume of green beans was limiting the activity. Thus, only 10 – 15% of the expected output had been harvested until May 7, according to Cepea collaborators. However, the weather in the first fortnight of May favored beans ripening, and, thus, the harvesting may step up, increasing the volume of robusta coffee in the Brazilian spot market in late May.

 

In Rondônia (RO), the harvesting is more advanced than in ES. Until May 7, from 30 to 35% of the crop had been harvested. According to collaborators, the weather favored both beans ripening and harvesting activities. A high amount of the coffee harvested was still drying by the end of the first fortnight and is expected to arrive at the market in the coming weeks.

 

Despite the harvesting in Brazil, robusta prices are on the rise, boosted by international valuations and the absence of sellers in the market. On May 14, the CEPEA/ESALQ Index for the robusta type 6, screen 13, Espírito Santo, averaged 457.74 BRL (86.86 USD)/bag, 0.4% up from that on April 30.

 

As regards robusta farmers, most of them were focused on scheduled deliveries. Besides, many of these agents were not selling coffee in the first half of the month, expecting prices to rise more.

 

ARABICA – In the first fortnight of May, arabica coffee was being hand-picked sporadically in all producing regions, but the harvesting should officially begin in the second fortnight, stepping up in June.

 

The dry weather favored activities, however, it is still concerning farmers, since it may have limited beans growth in some crops. Besides, plants are debilitated, warning agents about next season. In northwestern Paraná, for instance, many farmers had to begin the harvesting of younger crops, which still had green beans, due to the effects of the dry weather on these crops.

 

Concerns about the weather in Brazil pushed up arabica prices in both the domestic and the international markets. On May 6, the CEPEA/ESALQ Index for arabica coffee (delivered to São Paulo city) set a nominal record in the series of Cepea (which began in 1996), closing at 828.03 BRL (156.79 USD)/60-kilo bag. On the same day, the arabica futures traded at the New York Stock Exchange (ICE Futures) hit the highest levels in four years.

 

Despite the valuations, liquidity was low in the Brazilian market in the first fortnight of May, since sellers were away from the market. Supply is low in the Brazilian spot market, and farmers expect prices to rise more, based on the possible effects of the weather on the 2021/22 and 2022/23 crops. Besides, as the Winter is near, speculations about frosts may also push up prices in the short term.

 

On May 14, the CEPEA/ESALQ Index for arabica coffee (delivered to São Paulo city) averaged 805.55 BRL (152.86 USD)/60-kilo bag, 2.9% up from that on April 30.

 

(Cepea-Brazil)

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