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Brazil Eyes Coffee Harvest Record After Busy Growing Season

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Published on May 21, 2012

The world's biggest coffee grower, Brazil, is expected to overcome its harvest record of 48.5 million bags in 2012/2013 to produce around 51 million bags, according to the country's agriculture ministry.

Brazil's coffee harvest now starting will likely be about five percent higher than the record set in 2002/2003, crop supply agency Conab said.

The agency's forecasts were raised by good weather during the growing season and a wave of higher coffee prices over the past two years which have pushed local production.

Brazil, which is also by far the world's top coffee exporter, has an up-down cycle which causes output to rise and fall every two years. The 2012/2013 harvest comes in a high output year.

But some coffee traders such as Germany's leading Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG) have even higher expectations for the season -- some 55 million 60-kilogram bags.

Speculation that Brazil will produce even higher amounts of coffee have already caused market prices to drop in international trading this month.

But many analysts are arguing that prices should not be affected because global demand appears to continue strong and other producing countries like Colombia have seen their crop fall with higher rainfall.

Coffee consumption in Brazil grew 3.1 percent from November 2010 to October last year to 19.7 million bags, about 45 percent of what the country's farms turn out each year.

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