Coffee output in Brazil, the worlds largest producer, may decline because dry weather in February hurt bean development and fungus has spread in some producing areas, according to German researcher F.O.Licht.
The dry February deprived beans of sufficient moisture to swell out fully, keeping them from reaching the desired size, which would effectively mean a reduction in output, Licht said in a report today.
Fungus has affected some crops due to be harvested in May, the researcher said. Although no data is available on the actual damage at this point, agronomists agreed that the infestation had not reached alarming levels, it said.
Dryness may reduce this years output beyond a 30 percent drop predicted in January, Marco Antonio dos Santos, a weather forecaster at Sao Paulo-based Somar Meteorologia, said last month. Brazilian growers may harvest 33.7 million bags of coffee in 2011, down from 48.1 million in the prior year, Somar said Jan. 4.