By Marcelo Teixeira
NEW YORK, Sept 1 (Reuters) - The early flowering spotted in recent days in parts of the coffee belt in Brazil, the world's largest producer, is unlikely to generate fruit and could hurt next year's crop prospects, farmers and agronomists said.
That may darken the outlook for the global coffee market in 2023, and could lead to higher prices. The global market is counting on large production in Brazil in next year to offset two years of lower-than-average crops due to frosts and drought.(Full Story)
The partial flowering, which is occurring before the rainy season, would hurt the outlook for crop growth because it spends plants' energy before the expected main flowering, which usually happens end-September or in October.
"We've seen occurrences of flowering in some areas such as South of Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo. But it is still too dry, so they will most likely not thrive," said Matheus Grossi, a farmer and agronomist.
"All indications are that this first flowering will not help next year's crop. We hope there will be others with more potential ahead," said Jonas Ferraresso, a coffee agronomist who advises several farms in Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais states in Brazil.
He said that before rains in September and October, the plants are using all the energy they have to keep healthy, and the flowers 'steal' some of that vital energy.
Fernando Barbosa, a farmer in south Minas Gerais, shared on social media videos of flowers withering at his farm. "These August buds will hardly lead to fruits. We will wait for the next ones," he said.
Current soil moisture in South Minas Gerais is only above last year, when there was a historic drought, according to Refinitiv's Agriculture Weather Dashboard. It is below 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016. Forecasts call for some rain by mid-September.
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