Nature does not seem to want to give Brazil a break. After a devastating black frost in July 2021, which contributed greatly to a rise in global coffee prices, another drop in temperatures forecast for 16 May threatens coffee production in central Brazil.
Brazil is the biggest producer of coffee. When a natural disaster occurs in this country, it affects the global coffee market. Stir reported that the frost in July of 2021 hit up to 65 per cent of the crop area. Brazilian agronomists coined the term “black frost,” which refers to prolonged cold weather below -2 or -3°C combined with the effects of winds and humidity. The problem with severe frost is that it often damages the trees so deeply that they have to be pruned extensively or even torn out and replaced by new trees. These, in turn, need around three years to begin producing cherries.
According to Progressive Farmer, another frost may occur in the next few days. Brazil had been experiencing favourable weather conditions for many of its crops, including coffee, prior to this forecast. Consequently, production estimates were good. The rainy season in Brazil usually lasts until April, followed by the dry season until September. In contrast to March 2021, when the drought already began in the beginning of the month, there was considerable rainfall throughout March 2022.
Positive production estimates, however, have fallen. Recent weather patterns are displaying a potential drop in temperature that could lead to a new frost. La Niña’s cold temperatures may reach farther into Brazil than the previous year.
This can lead to increased frost risks for the southern states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Parana, and the Rio Grande do Sul. Sometimes, the depth of the cold is enough to penetrate up into southern Mato Grosso, Goias, and Minas Gerais as well.The Progressive Farmer
Last year, “drought and recent frost events have devastated Brazil’s coffee crop and have curbed the growth potential for the country’s coffee crop for the next two years.” Brazil’s 2021 arabica coffee production fell from 48.8m bags in 2020 down to 31.4m bags, a drop of 36 per cent.
Barchart, an online analyst for stocks and commodities, reported that “The USDA’s FAS projects Brazil’s 2021/22 coffee exports would tumble by 27 per cent y/y to 33.2m bags from a record 45.67m bags in 2020/21.
Brazil’s coffee export council, CeCafe, reported on Apr 11 that Brazil’s green coffee exports fell by 6 per cent in March to 3.6m bags. Colombia, the world’s second-biggest arabica producer fares even worse as “its March coffee production fell by 13 per cent to 914,000 bags.” Due to the newest frost risk and concern about tighter global coffee supplies, global coffee prices have already increased.
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