Brazil’s Coffee Crop May Be 55.7 Million Bags, Volcafe Says

The next coffee crop in Brazil, the world’s largest grower, will be “considerably” smaller than output in the previous high-yielding year, according to Volcafe, the coffee unit of commodities trader ED&F Man Holdings Ltd.

The 2012-13 crop in the South American country may be 55.7 million bags of 60 kilograms (132 pounds), down from 57.6 million bags in the 2010-11 season, the trader said in a report e-mailed today. Brazil’s crop is in a two year cycle, with the current 2011-12 crop being a low-yielding one.

Crop losses will affect the arabica harvest, with output in 2012-13 falling to 38.6 million bags, down 11 percent compared to the previous high-yielding season in 2010-11, the trader said. The harvest of robusta beans will climb to a record 17.1 million bags in 2012-13, it estimated in the report.

“The huge flowering witnessed in October did not translate into huge fixation into cherries,” Volcafe said in the report. “The arabica number is much lower than we previously expected.”

The lack of rainfall in arabica-producing regions in Brazil has resulted in abortion of flowers, the trader said. The Brazilian coffee season usually starts in July, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Minas Gerais is Brazil’s largest arabica-growing state and Espirito Santo is the biggest producer state for robusta beans.

In Colombia, the second-largest producer of arabica beans, production in the 2011-12 season started in October will “struggle” to reach 7 million bags, Volcafe added.

“The sub-optimal weather is compounding the structural changes seen in the country in the recent years,” it said.

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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