Environmental News from South America:
Brazilian farmers had harvested around 35% of the 2022 coffee crop by June 21, a slower pace compared to last year and the historical average for this time of the year, consultancy Safras & Mercado said on Thursday.
The delay is hurting Brazil coffee exports, Safras’ analyst Gil Barabach said, leading to higher spot prices for top-quality coffees.
Last year, farmers had harvested 40% of the coffee fields by this time. The five-year average for the period is even higher at 44%, the consultancy said. The slowed harvest pace comes despite drier-than-normal weather in the main producing regions, which should help with fieldwork.
Barabach said the harvest delay is due mostly to an uneven maturation of fruits and difficulties for farmers to finding the labor in some regions.
Brazil’s coffee co-op Cooxupe, the country’s No. 1 exporter, also reported delays. It said that 13.5% of the fields in the areas where it operates, around Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo states, were harvested so far, the slowest pace since at least 2017.
“Prices for export quality coffees have gone up for outright shipments,” said Barabach, adding that farmers are in no rush to sell, waiting for even higher prices.
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