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Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Lines

2nd Official Estimate Brazil 2005/06 Crop

Brazil - CONAB, the National Supply Company, connected with the Ministry of Agriculture, released the 2nd official estimate of the Brazilian 2005/06 coffee crop.

The estimate was the result of a field survey made by 243 agronomists and technicians covering all the principal coffee growing areas of the producing States. Interviewing growers, Cooperatives, Rural Associations and agriculture assistance companies to verify the growth and development of the cherries after the flowering last year.

This 2nd estimate of the 2005/06 crop at 32.457 million bags does not differ greatly from the 1st estimate released in December/04, which averaged 31.873 million bags. In comparison with the final estimate for the 2004/05 crop at 38.667 million bags, the 2005/06 crop shows a drop of 16.1%, which is largely due to the bi-annual cycle of coffee cultivation particularly for Arabica areas and also unseasonal dry weather in some growing areas.

Arabica production shows a drop between the two crops from 31.110 million bags to 23.261 million bags, or 25.2%. In comparison, Robusta production shows an increase from 7.557 million bags to 9.196 million bags or plus 21.7%.

The CONAB report estimated yield per hectare for the 2005/06 crop at 14.76 bags of 6o kilos, down slightly from the 15.49 bags calculated in their December survey. CONAB also reported Brazil coffee trees in production at 5.173.858 billion trees and 581.802 million trees in formation, for a total coffee park at present of 5.7 billion trees.

It should be noted that the next crop will be an on-year cycle for Brazil production and if the yield per hectare reaches 17.47 bags as calculated for the last on-year crop of 2004/05, the next crop for 2006/07, with favorable weather could produce 40 million bags or more.

CONAB also reported that their estimate this year was calculated with the new technical assistance of their GPS Satellite system of geographic information and field survey of planted coffee areas in Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo. The next evaluations will include Sao Paulo and later planted areas in all producing States.

Cecafe 1st Forum and Coffee Dinner

Brazil - CECAFE, The Council of Brazilian Coffee Exporters, recently sponsored the 1st Forum and Coffee Dinner to commemore the beginning of Brazil’s 2005/06 coffee harvest and awarding selected members of the trade.

The all-day event was held in the various facilities of the Hotel Transamerica in Sao Paulo. CECAFE’s objective in promoting the event was to create a meeting for producers, traders, the industry and media to exchange information and analyze the medium and long term coffee prospects, form new relationships and evaluate the new crop and future production trends.

The Forum’s program was opened and chaired by CECAFE president, Joao Antoni Lian and assisted during the ceremonies by Guilherme Braga, general director of CECAFE and Jorge Estev, president of the Administrative Council.

The Brazil panel was moderated by the Sao Paulo Agriculture Secretary, Antonio Nogueira Filho and included presentations by Economists and Agronomists that specialized in Arabica and Conillon production, a director of CONAB, the official agency for crop estimates and a director of COOXUPE, the largest coffee Cooperative.

The World Panel was moderated by Linneu Costa Lima, production secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, and included talks by executives of Volcafe, Switzerland, Lavazza, Italy, Atlantic U.S.A. and Nobel Coffee Vietnam. During dinner, various Brazilian and International companies and persons were honored for their achievements and contributions to the development of Brazilian coffee during the year 2004.

Special awards were given to research technicians and agronomists of several Universities and Institutions. A special CECAFE award initiated this year for “Research, Development and Technological Innovation”, was given to three scientists: Luis Gonzaga Esteves Vieira, Carlos Augusto Colombo and Aan Carvalho Andrade for their revolutionary study of coffee genes. Their research discovered the first world sequence of the coffee genome and created a data bank of DNA sequences and identification of 30 thousand genes responsible for the various mechanisms for the growing and development of the coffee plant.

Also, an award was given to Sr. Beltran Martinez, a Banker from a traditional Sao Paulo coffee family, for his work and understanding of the financial needs of growers essential to the growth of the Brazilian coffee culture. Meanwhile, Jair Coser, president of Unicafe S/A, was awarded for the achievements of the firm’s 37 years of activity exporting 58.1 million bags with a value of 6.65 billion dollars and also the leading coffee exporter in the year 2004.

There were two awards given for “Personality of the Year”. Gregory White, director of the Folger Coffee Company, received his for the long standing partnership he managed between Folger and the Brazilian trade, making the firm the largest importer of Brazilian coffee during the year 2004. Roberto Rodrigues, minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, was recognized for his positive and motivating conduct with not only internal and external coffee policies, but also with his efforts in the whole agribusiness of Brazil coffee.

More than 600 participants attended the 1st CECAFE Forum and Coffee Dinner. It is expected the promotion will continue in the years between the International Santos Coffee Seminar in Guaruja and dating always at the beginning of the harvesting of the Brazil crop.

-Harry C. Jones

Tea & Coffee - August/September, 2005
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