SÃO PAULO — The pace of coffee trades was slow in Brazil in February. Regarding arabica, after the sharp price drops in the domestic and international markets early in the month, purchasers and sellers retracted, hampering trades. Thus, prices stabilized.
Between January 31 and February 28, the CEPEA/ESALQ Index of arabica type 6, hard cup or better (delivered in São Paulo city), dropped 1.7%, closing at 436.49 BRL (134.80 USD) per 60-kilo bag on February 28.
Regarding robusta coffee, the CEPEA/ESALQ Index of the robusta type 6, screen 13, Espírito Santo State, closed at 314.52 BRL (97.13 USD) per 60-kilo bag on February 28, 0.8% down compared to that on Jan. 31.
Although frequent rains have been favorable to Robusta crops, they may extend the grains-filling stage in Espírito Santo and, consequently, delay maturation.
Thus, some growers should start harvesting in mid-May, intensifying activities only in June, differently from previous years, when the crop used to start in the second fortnight of April.
If temperatures rise and the weather becomes drier from now onward, maturation may step up. Besides, growers may opt for harvesting grains partially green, concentrating activities in May.
In Rondônia, growers believe that robusta harvesting should start in late March, as in previous seasons, with the entry of a larger amount of grains forecast for April. However, if it rains excessively in the coming weeks, maturation may be delayed.
In general, the weather has been favorable to the 2018/19 robusta season. Rains have allowed coffee crops to recover and are helping in the grains-filling stage, which may boost productivity.
The development of arabica crops has been faster, since, in most regions, maturation is advanced, according to Cepea collaborators. Some areas may start harvesting in May, anticipating the supply of coffee from the new 2018/19 season.