Brazil's coffee production follows a two-year cycle, with bigger crops in even numbered years and then smaller crops in odd-numbered years, so the harvest in 2021 was already expected to be smaller than 2020's record production of 63.1 million 132-pound bags.
A 30% decline would nevertheless be the biggest drop from a previous year since 2003, according to numbers from Brazilian crop agency Conab. Conab's forecast from January was for a decline of 21% to 31% in 2021. The upper end of that range would mean a crop of about 43.8 million 132-pound bags this year, which would be the smallest odd-year crop since 2015.
Brazil is the world's biggest exporter of coffee, accounting for one-third or more of global coffee exports, so a steep drop in production in the South American country could have a big impact on world markets. But between the production in 2021 and the stocks left over from 2020's big crop, Brazil will have enough coffee to supply markets, Mr. Brasileiro said.
"It looked scary at first, there was a lot of concern about the drop in production," he said. "But even with a decline of 30%, with our current stocks we expect to be able to meet demand" this year.
Coffee plants have a two-year development cycle, so last year's lack of rain and higher temperatures could also have a negative impact on the 2022 crop. But early concerns about the effects of the bad weather are now easing after recent rains that helped the plants develop, Mr. Brasileiro said.
"Before we thought that 2021 and 2022 would both have small crops, but now it looks like 2022 will be a normal year," he said.
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