The early harvest of Brazil’s 2020 season has been slower than normal, especially in the case of conillon. Transport restrictions and the number of workers in the field, particularly in Espírito Santo, explain this slow pace. Another reason is the option of growers to wait for plants to reach a higher degree of maturity to reduce the number of trips to farms, thus optimizing the workforce. It is the coffee harvest adjusting to pandemic times.
The weekly survey by SAFRAS indicates that until May 19 the harvest of the 20/21 season in Brazil reached 13% of the production estimated at 68.10 million 60-kg bags. Thus, 9.17 million bags have already been removed from plantations. The pace is below the same period last year, when the harvest was 16% complete, and also below the 5-year average for the period (15%).
In the case of arabica, the harvest reaches 10% of the expected output, in line with 10% in the same period last year, but slightly below the 5-year average (11%). Highlight on the accelerated work in Matas de Minas region. There the harvest is at 17%, well above the 13% average for the period. There is much coffee to be selected and dried, but the harvest speed is already felt in trading areas, with the commercial flow turned to coffees of the new season. Growers speeded up the withdrawal of coffee from crops, even with a high percentage of green, seeking to take advantage of the good moment, especially for the best cups. On the other hand, the harvest is slower in the south of Minas, with only 8% complete.
The conillon harvest is also delayed, with only 23% complete, against 30% in the same period last year and 29% on the average over the last 5 years. In Espírito Santo, the conillon harvest is 21%, below the average of 30% for the period. In Rondônia it is closer to normal, with 36% complete, against average 39%.
Rains on Thursday and Friday can hinder the work progress, but by the end of the week the weather will be firm again, which favors the coffee harvest and drying. Temperatures are forecast to fall, but at first there is no risk to crops. Despite the high percentage of green coffee, which is normal at the beginning of each harvest, cup quality is good. More uniform blossoming last year is favoring this year’s harvest.