Brazil Could Face Losses of up to 10M Bags of Coffee Amid Frost
By Fabiana Batista and Marvin G. Perez
A preliminary assessment by Brazilís government signals that a recent frost may have slashed next yearís arabica-coffee output by as much as 10 million bags -- or more than one-third of annual purchases by the U.S., the worldís top consumer.
The initial view is part of a wide range, whose lower point is a loss of 5 million bags, each of which weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds), according to a government official who asked not to be identified because the data is not formal and is only being circulated internally.
The government is still assessing damage, and once thatís finished in the coming weeks, an official estimate will be released, the person said. Brazilís Agriculture Ministry didnít immediately respond to a request for comment.
Powerful frosts ravaged Brazilís arabica-coffee fields in recent months, hurting trees that were already stressed by the driest weather in nearly a century. Freezing temperatures burnt trees and leaves essential for production next year and also killed young trees, which could compromise output for years. The weather woes have fueled a rally in New York, with prices touching a seven-year high in July.
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