Harvesting of arabica coffee in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, will end a month later this year after rainfall delayed the start of the crop, according to Cepea, a University of Sao Paulo research group.
Above-average rainfall in growing regions in June delayed the start of the 2012-13 harvest and reduced the quality of beans. Dry weather in the past 10 days has helped accelerate pickings, Marco Antonio dos Santos, an agronomist at Sao Paulo-based weather forecaster Somar Meteorologia, said in a report e-mailed yesterday. More dry weather is forecast through Aug. 12, according to the report.
“Players surveyed by Cepea expect fieldwork to continue until September, at least, delaying about a month in relation to the 2011 season,” Margarete Boteon, an analyst at the researcher, said in a report yesterday. “From now on, players expect the harvesting to step up because of the drier weather.”
About 48 percent of the 2012-13 crop under way in the South American country has been picked in Minas Gerais, the biggest arabica growing state, dos Santos said. In second-ranking Sao Paulo, 55 percent of the harvest has been completed. Some 30 percent of the beans from the current season have fallen off the trees because of rainfall, he said.
“A significant volume of coffee beans has dropped down and lost quality because of the rains,” Cepea’s Boteon said. “These beans are usually collected at the end of fieldwork, as a means to reduce harvesting costs.”
Coffee supplies available for sale are set to increase in the “short term” as the harvest advances, she said. Local prices for arabica beans dropped 1.7 percent to 411.08 reais ($201.51) a 60-kilogram (132-pound) bag in the week ended July 30, Cepea data showed. Arabica coffee futures traded on ICE Futures U.S. in New York slid 3.6 percent in the same period.