Wet June leaves hangover on Brazil coffee quality

Drier weather is to revive the pace of Brazil's coffee harvest, but will not make up for dents to quality that have already occurred from weather setbacks.

Somar, the crop consultancy, said that the South East and Centre West regions should this month "be much drier than June, with very few cases of rain.

"With the drier weather, the harvest will speed up," boosting conditions for export too, with rains a big setback to loading ships with sugar, as a commodity badly affected by moisture.

However, the rains of last month mean that the quality of beans may come in lower than the market has counted on from many areas, including parts of Minas Gerais, the top producing state.

Fungal attacks

The main damage from rain has come in the southern state of Parana and in the south of Sao Paolo, where excessive moisture and low levels of sunlight encouraging fungal infection, particularly on cherries in a relatively early stage of development.

The caused a "strong" decline in cherry quality, Somar said.

While conditions in Minas Gerais proved significantly more benign, in the south of this state too, wet weather accelerated maturation beyond ideal levels, meaning the quality of beans from this area might be lower than the market has factored in.

Brazil is the main producing country for arabica coffee beans.

'Cooled fears of crop failure'

Separately, Brazil's Conselho Nacional do Café producers' group also flagged wet weather in Vietnam, the top producing country of robusta coffee beans although this moisture has been seen as positive for producers following an unduly dry spell.

The rains "cooled fears of significant crop failure in 2013-14 in the Asian country", the CNC said, noting the impact of the moisture in undermining robusta coffee futures, which last month fell in London to their lowest since October 2010, on a nearest-but-one contract basis.

The fall in prices nonetheless ignored the impact of the weak market in deterring growers in Vietnam and Indonesia, the second-ranked robusta producer, from selling robusta beans, the CNC added.

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