São Paulo, 27 – The State of Minas Gerais will lose at least 25% of its 2022 Arabica coffee crop because of recent frosts, according to president José Marcos Magalhães, of the Minasul cooperative, based in Varginha, in the south of Minas, the main Arabica producing area in the country. Brazil is responsible for more than one third of the world supply of Arabica, and Minas Gerais produces about two thirds of this volume. The worst cold snap since 1994 in key growing regions has damaged many plants, and low temperatures this week and August could further aggravate the situation.
“This will mean a considerable loss of production next year,” said Magalhães. “We believe that we are going to lose 25% of the harvest in Minas Gerais, and the situation could get worse depending on the weather in the coming weeks.”
The 2021 crop harvest is not yet complete, but the cold weather will have a limited impact on production this year, as the leaves of the coffee plants protect the cherries. The impact will be much greater in 2022 because the plants have a two-year cycle where the branches that grow in one year produce the coffee cherries the following year.
A drought last year and this year had already affected plant development and reduced the size of the 2021 and 2022 Arabica crops. According to Magalhães, it is possible that Brazil will not be able to produce enough coffee in 2022 to meet demand. “It’s early to say, but it looks like we’re going to have trouble supplying the world in 2022.” He said, however, that Brazil must meet its contractual obligations, in part because it is agreeing to sell less coffee for the next harvest.
The impact of the cold snap is expected to be felt beyond next year. Magalhães stated that many young plants that would start producing in 2023 have been destroyed or damaged by low temperatures, and that there is no time to replace them.
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