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With Big Harvest, Brazil Buyers and Sellers Holding Out

raw green coffee beans from BrazilDespite potentially record-high production levels of Brazilian arabica beans, exports from the country are down as buyers and sellers hold out for more favorable prices. The country’s arabica harvest ended last month.

According to market analysts in a recent Wall Street Journal report, the lag in sales is the result of a standoff between farmers and large coffee buyers, many of whom are taking advantage of global stockpiles of arabica throughout the world. From the Journal:

Big coffee buyers like Folgers-maker J.M. Smucker Co. are in no rush to buy. Global stockpiles of arabica beans, the coveted variety used in gourmet blends, are at their highest level in more than two years. Meanwhile, coffee demand is slowing due to the woes in Europe and more supplies are expected in the coming months.

 The situation stands in contrast to 2011, when coffee roasters and food companies were scrambling to secure supplies amid a shortage of beans that drove prices to 14-year highs.
Not mentioned in the report was the suggestion that came from several industry experts in August that excessive early-season rains followed by a dry period just before the harvest may have compromised the quality of some of Brazil’s arabica this year.
Brazil remains the top coffee producing country in the world.


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