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Brazil's Coffee Exports Fell 27% Year-On-Year In August

Published on Sep 14 2021 2:00 PM in Drinks tagged: Supply Chain / Brazil / Cocoa and Coffee Council / COVID-19 / Green Coffee

Brazil's Coffee Exports Fell 27% Year-On-Year In August

Exports of green coffee from Brazil, the world's largest producer, fell 27% in August from a year earlier to 2.33 million 60 kg bags as difficulties to find containers and space at vessels increased, exporters association Cecafé has said.

Cecafé said in a monthly report that approximately 3.5 million bags of coffee could not be shipped on time this year due to shipping hurdles, causing losses of approximately $500 million to the country's coffee exporting industry.

Brazil Facing Coffee Export Difficulties

The amount of coffee shipped by Brazilian exporters in August was the smallest monthly volume in at least a year.

"This operational crisis caused a large increase in freight prices, recurring bookings' cancellations and increased difficulty to make new bookings for containers or vessel space," said Nicolas Rueda, Cecafé's president.

The association said that 40% to 50% of all coffee cargos faced postponements at ports in the last three months, compared to 10% to 20% seen in the first months of the year, as the situation deteriorated.

Brazil accounts for almost 40% of the global coffee trade. Delays could disrupt operations for some roasters in the United States and Europe, its biggest clients.

Supply chain breakdowns and shortages have swept the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic amid a rise on online orders and disruptions in the transportation system as workers got sick or decided to abandon those jobs.

Containers have been more demanded in destinations such as the US, and have stayed there for longer than normal, causing a shortage in routes such as South America to US or Asia to Europe.

Datamar, a shipping information agency, said on Monday September 13 that Brazil received 604 container ships in August, 10% less than in the same month a year ago.

"There is a lot of [shipping] demand and the infrastructure takes long to react. The ports are at the limit of their capacities," said Rueda.

Ivory Coast Weather Expected To Help Start Of Main Cocoa Crop

Meanwhile, below average rains were recorded last week in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions but high soil moisture content from previous rains would help the strong development of the October-to-March main crop, farmers said on Monday September 13.

Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer is heading towards the end of its April to mid-November rainy season when downpours are abundant and often heavy.

Farmers need heavy rains with intervals of sunny spells for growing and drying of cocoa beans, the main ingredient in chocolate. Most farmers welcomed the dry spell last week saying it would help to avoid diseases and insects on crops.

"So far we are optimistic that there will not be a shortage of beans until January at least," said Francis Amon, who farms near the centre-western region of Daloa, where 21.4 millimetres (mm) of rain fell last week, 8.9 mm below the five-year average.

Similar growing conditions were reported in southern regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, where rains were below average.

In the western region of Man, farmers welcomed the drier spell after two consecutive weeks of heavy rains that triggered fears of damages in plantations.

Farmers added that warehouses in the region were full of bags of beans waiting for buyers offering attractive prices.

"The new marketing season will start strong here if the farmgate price is interesting and respected," said Fofana Mori, who farms near the western region of Duekoue.

The Cocoa and Coffee Council regulator is due to set a new farmgate price ahead of the 2021/2022 season which starts on October 1.

The western region of Man reported 34.5 mm of rainfall last week, 3.5 mm below the average.

In the western region of Soubre, where rainfall was above the average, and in the southern regions of Agboville and Divo, where rains were below average, farmers said they were happy with the size and quality of beans for the season's first harvest.

They added that more sunny spells would be needed to dry the beans properly.

"The weather is good and our expectation for now is for a strong competition for beans from October," said Kouassi Kouame, who farms near Soubre, where 20.7 mm of rain fell last week, 3.5 mm above the average.

The average temperature across Ivory Coast ranged from 25.4 to 28.3 degrees celsius last week.

News by Reuters, edited for Hospitality Ireland by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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