© Reuters. The robusta coffee fruits are seen in Sao Gabriel da Palha, Espirito Santo state, Brazil May 2, 2018. Picture taken May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Jose Roberto Gomes/Files
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Brazilian exports of green coffee fell 29% in September compared with a year earlier, to 2.74 million 60-kg bags, exporters association Cecafe said on Wednesday, as shipping difficulties continued to hamper the commodity’s flow.
Cecafe’s head, Nicolas Rueda, said there was no change regarding shipping, with exporters struggling to get bookings for containers and vessels, as well as facing frequent loading postponements from shipping companies.
“There is intense competition among exporters to secure containers and to book loadings. And it is all very costly,” Rueda said in a statement, adding that the situation is testing the planning capacity of exporters.
He said importers in the main consuming countries such as the United States, Brazil’s top client for coffee, are suffering as well, having to manage the disruptions in the supply chain.
Brazilian exports of arabica coffee, the milder variety, fell 24% to 2.42 million bags, while shipments of robusta coffee, the type used in blends and by the instant coffee industry, fell 51% to only 326,045 bags.
There is strong demand for robusta coffee in the Brazilian domestic market as roasters increase the use of that coffee in their blends since arabica prices have jumped to all-time highs after the frosts in July.
Beyond being the world’s largest coffee exporter, Brazil is the second largest consumer of the beverage behind the United States.