SAO PAULO, Brazil – The harvesting of the first robusta coffee beans from the 2020/21 crop has started in Rondônia, the number two robusta-producing state in Brazil, reports Cepea in its newest wrap-up. So far, only earlier crops have been harvested, but agents expect activities to advance in the remaining areas until the end of March – and to step up in April.
Thus, some new coffee batches have arrived at the market. According to Cepea collaborators, favorable weather in the last months should ensure a satisfactory quality to the crop.
It is worth to mention that, although the harvesting has already started, in Rondônia, robusta prices have been underpinned by the demand from exporters and roasters
In Espírito Santo, agents do not expect to receive new coffee batches until April. Although some growers may start to harvest early crops in late March, batches should only arrive at the market next month. In the remaining crops, activities should start in early April, and the largest coffee volume should arrive at the market in May.
As for the volume expected for the 2020/21 season, Conab (Brazil’s National Company for Food Supply) estimates the Brazilian robusta harvest to total from 13.9 to 16.1 million bags of 60-kilos.
However, Cepea collaborators believe the output will be larger, between 16 and 18 million bags, due to the favorable weather during crops development as well as crops treatment and renewal conditions in the last years, mainly in Espírito Santo, where the productive potential should continue high. Rains in early 2020 should also help to increase both yield at processing and volume.
Prices, in turn, increased in the first half of March, due to the US dollar appreciation and the international valuation of the variety. This scenario also allowed some deals to be closed in both the spot and the future markets. The CEPEA/ESALQ Index for the type 6, screen 13, Espírito Santo State, closed at 317.69 BRL (65.48 USD) per 60-kilo bag on March 13, 1.5% up in the fortnight.
Despite some timely concerns about the warmer and drier weather in the past weeks, agents have reported that, in general, high temperatures have favored the maturation of arabica beans in all the regions surveyed by Cepea. According to Cepea collaborators, the harvesting should start in May in most of the regions surveyed and in mid-April in the Zona da Mata (MG).
Arabica prices oscillated in the first fortnight of March, influenced by international devaluations and the US dollar appreciation. On March 13, the CEPEA/ESALQ Index for the coffee type 6 (delivered in São Paulo) closed at 540.39 BRL (111.37 USD) per 60-kilo bag, 3.4% up in the fortnight. The America currency closed at 4.852 BRL, a staggering 8% up, in the same period.
Brazilian coffee exports decreased in February, according to data from Cecafé (Coffee Exporters Council). The volume shipped last month totaled 2.7 million bags (green, roasted and ground) and 2.4 million for green coffee, 22.1% and 23% down, respectively, compared to that from January. Compared to that last year, exports in Feb/20 were 24.3% and 25.7% lower. According to Cecafé, this performance is linked to the lower number of working days in February as well as lower supply.