Brazil’s next coffee harvest is expected to be significantly smaller than last year’s due to tree damage caused by punishing weather earlier this season. Due to the bleak crop outlook, global coffee prices have remained near 10-year highs.
Brazil’s severe drought, followed by unexpected frosts in June and July, resulted in the death of many young trees and the struggle of mature trees to recover. Some producers anticipate that production of Arabica beans, the most popular variety, will decline by up to 30% in 2022/23, from 49 million bags (3 million tonnes) produced two years earlier, during Brazil’s biennial coffee cycle’s previous “on year.”
Brazil’s coffee growers will closely monitor the appearance of pinheads and berries on the trees over the next few weeks, as this will provide a more accurate indication of potential yields. Typically, harvest begins in April.
Brazil’s upcoming coffee harvest is critical for coffee roasters and consumers worldwide. Brazil, the world’s largest producer and exporter of Arabica, experienced one of the lowest harvests in years during the “off year” that ended in September, with production estimated to be down 30% year over year.
Arabica coffee prices, the most widely consumed variety, are at their highest level in a decade. Widening price differentials between Arabica and robusta coffees may encourage roasters to incorporate more robusta into their traditional blends.