SAO PAULO-- The state, which in 2014 grew about three-quarters of Brazil's Robusta beans, will have a crop of
about 6 million to 7 million 132-pound bags this year, according to Edimilson Calegari, general
manager of the Cooabriel cooperative.
"The rain in the region hasn't been as regular as normal, partly because of El Nino," Mr. Calegari
said. "We've also had a lot more problems with pests that accompany the dry weather, they attack the
coffee plants more when there's not as much other vegetation."
Brazilian crop agency Conab has forecast production of 7.5 million to 7.9 million bags of Robusta
for Espirito Santo this year, after a harvest of 7.8 million bags in 2015. Mr. Calegari didn't
comment on Conab's forecasts. At the start of 2015, the agency forecast a Robusta crop of 8.5
million to 9 million bags for Espirito Santo for that year.
Espirito Santo's best year for Robusta production was 2014, when the state grew 9.9 million bags.
If the state receives enough rain, it could easily return to that level or more, Mr. Calegari said.
"Farmers are planting less in some cases, and only as much as they know they can irrigate," he
said. "Production is going up a lot though, because they're planting varieties that are much more
Exports of Robusta from Espirito Santo reached a record last year, despite the decline in
production from 2014, as the decline in the Brazilian real against the dollar cut the price of the
variety on world market s while increasing the price for local farmers.
Growers cooperatives have been emptying out their warehouses of older stocks to meet demand, but
many could soon lose that option, Mr. Calegari said.
"Our stocks are very low," he said. "Our warehouses could be empty by the start of the harvest" in
April and May.
Write to Jeffrey T. Lewis at [email protected]
(END) Dow Jones Newswires