The severe frost in Brazil has raised world coffee prices. We are still managing to keep the current ones of our coffees.
Unexpected severe frost has damaged the Brazilian coffee crop. We are deeply concerned by the situation in the South American country, where a cold front with atypically low temperatures has been passing since last week. Even though it is winter in the southern hemisphere, the temperatures that hit Brazil are much lower than those typical for the season.
Cold and drought affect the Brazilian coffee crop
The National Supply Company (Conab) estimates that last week alone, frosts affected between 150,000 and 200,000 hectares, or about 11% of the total area of coffee plantations. This immediately resulted in rise in prices, as Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world. The prices are highest since 2014. The price of green Arabica coffee has jumped by 60% since January.
In addition to the frost, Brazil suffered a historic drought a few months ago. It mainly affected the state of Minas Gerais. It is there where 70% of the total amount of Brazilian coffee, specialty and mass, grows. Some of the state producers comment that due to the drought in 2021 they did not have a harvest and relied on next year’s harvest, 2022. But due to July’s low temperatures, next year’s harvest will also suffer, and in some cases will be completely destroyed.
Frost can even kill the youngest plants, which are essential for future harvests. Farmers will be forced to drastically prune coffee bushes to cut all frozen twigs. This means that many coffee bushes from cold-affected farms will need at least one or in some cases, even two years to grow again and start reaping.
What will happen with 2022 Brazilian coffee crop?
Vanusia Nogueira, president of the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA), told Journal do Brazil that the frost is likely to cause a loss of 4 to 4.5 million 60 kg coffee bags from the 2022 harvest. She added that in the last ten years, there has alwyas been a week with low temperatures in late July. This year, however, is different. “I don’t remember such a period of constantly low temperatures since the end of May,” she said.
Vanusia Nogueira also said that the harvest in Minas Gerais’ two major coffee-producing regions is advancing well. About 65% of the harvest in Sul de Minas is over, and in Cerado Mineiro – 70%. As August is expected to be unusually cold, it is too early to say what the overall impact of low temperatures will be on next year’s crop.
We keep in touch with our partners in Brazil. Hoping that they and all other coffee producers in Brazil will experience minimal loss. We can say that so far we have managed to keep our actual prices unchanged. However, if farmers find themselves in difficulty, we will offer them a higher, fair price for their work.