By Jeffrey T. Lewis
SAO PAULO--Brazil's crop agency cut its estimate for production of the arabica variety of coffee
this year, saying unusually hot, dry weather reduced output.
The agency, known as Conab, estimated arabica production of 34.5 million 132-pound bags, after a
forecast in May of 37 million bags. Conab raised its estimate for production of the robusta variety
to 14.5 million bags, from 13.9 million in May. The total coffee crop for this year will be 49
million bags, down from the forecast of 50.9 million in May.
In 2018, Brazil produced a record total of 61.7 million bags, with 47.5 million bags of arabica
and 14.2 million bags of robusta.
Brazil is the world's biggest producer and exporter of coffee, growing about one-third of the
world's total supply. Brazil's arabica crop is affected by a two-year cycle in which harvests in
odd-numbered years are usually smaller than in even-numbered years as the plants "rest" from the
effort of producing the bigger crop.
This year's crop was reduced even more by hot and dry weather at the start of the growing season
and then frosts later in the season that hurt production and development of the beans.
A long period of low prices for coffee on world markets is likely to result in a 2020 coffee crop
that will be smaller than the 2018 crop, because farmers are spending less on fertilizers and other
inputs that boost productivity, according to Silas Brasileiro, the head of the Brazil's National
Farmers have less money to invest in their fields, and that along with the bad weather during 2019
will reduce productivity in 2020, Mr. Brasileiro said recently in a note.
Write to Jeffrey T. Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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