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Brazil coffee exports rise - but denied record by port snarl-ups


Brazil’s coffee exports set a September record last month - and would have been even higher were it not for logistical snarl-ups, Cecafe said, as the country’s bumper harvest translates into buoyant shipments.


Brazil shipped 3.79m bags of coffee in September, up 280,000 bags from August, and the fourth largest total for any month, data from the exporters’ group showed.


“We are very satisfied with the results of coffee exports in September,” said Nelson Carvalhaes, the Cecafe president, adding that “the sales volume was a record in relation to the same month in previous years”.


The previous September record, of 3.50m bags was set last year.


‘Logistical problems’

Mr Carvalhaes signalled that the result could have beaten the record for any month – the 4.00m bags recorded for December 2018 – were it not for shipping setbacks


“The results could have been even better, by in the order of 10-15%, were it not for the logistical problems of a lack of containers and spaces on the vessels,” he said.


Brazil’s coffee exporters have had to tackle a logistical squeeze caused by bumper exports of a number of other commodities - including notably sugar, for which shipments are expected to hit a record high in 2020-21.


This at a time when stocking by China ahead of its Golden Week holiday, and a hangover of mothballed capacity stemming from the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, have tightened the availability of shipping containers typically used for exporting coffee.


‘Excellent performance’

Mr Carvalhaes also highlighted the size of Brazil’s bumper 2020 harvest, viewed generally as a record crop, in boosting export volumes.


“The month of September marks the effective entry of the 2020-21 harvest, registering an excellent performance in both quantity and quality.”


Exports were in fact particularly high for robusta coffee - at 672,465 bags, the highest on record. Volumes were up 42% month on month, and nearly double those of September 2019.


For arabica, exports, at 2.84m bags, were up 4.0% from August, and by 1.4% year on year.


Total green coffee exports reached 3.51m bags, up 9.6% month on month and 11.5% year on year.


Top destinations

Europe has remained the top destination for exports for the first nine months of 2020, at 15.81m bags, although this represents a 1.6% fall year on year.


While shipments to Belgium have soared 18.8% to 2.39m bags, those to Italy have tumbled by 21% to 2.26m bags.


Export growth has been particularly strong to Russia, up 19.1% to 940,252 bags, and Mexico, up 19.2% to 782,253 bags.

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