Brazilian farmers had harvested 66% of the 2022/23 coffee crop by 19 July, recovering from initial delays to match the harvesting stage seen at this time a year ago, consultancy Safras & Mercado has said.
The harvest, however, is still below the historical average of 73% for this period, the consultancy said. And analysts are far apart on their projections for its total size.
Gil Barabach, coffee analyst at Safras, said that recent dry weather had helped to speed up grain maturation. He expects the harvest to continue at a good pace.
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Barabach, however, said that not much of the new crop coffee had arrived in the market. He said that farmers are well financed amid high market prices and are taking their time on the post-harvest drying and cleaning process.
Safras projects the 2022/23 Brazilian crop at 61.1 million (60 kg) bags, well above the government's estimate of 53.4 million bags.
Jonas Ferraresso, an agronomist who manages coffee farms in Brazil, said on Thursday 21 July that with two-thirds of the harvest completed farmers are reporting lower volumes.
"There are still coffee berries in the fields that need to be picked, but most of the agronomists and farms that I've talked to in the last weeks report a season with less coffee than they expected even after putting the 2021 frost into the calculations," he said.
Ferraresso thinks overall production could be below the government's estimate.
Market analysts, in general, expect higher production, with HedgePoint seeing the crop at around 60 million bags and Rabobank projecting it at 64.5 million bags. The US Department of Agriculture sees it at 64.3 million bags.