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SAO PAULO: Coffee production from growers associated with Brazil’s Cooxupe, the world’s largest coffee co-op, is seen falling by almost a third to 7.49 million 60-kg bags in 2021, Cooxupe said on Wednesday.

The 32% fall in production, down from 10.99 million bags in 2020, comes as top global producer Brazil enters the off-year in the biennial coffee production cycle. The co-op said dryer-than-normal weather and very high temperatures since late last year caused production to fall more than it would normally.

The expected volume at Cooxupe’s area in Minas Gerais state will be smaller than the 7.7 million bags seen in the last off-year crop in 2019. The co-op is Brazil’s largest coffee exporting company. It posted total revenues of 5.03 billion reais ($893.19 million) in 2020.

Carlos Augusto Rodrigues de Melo, Cooxupe’s president, said the unfavorable weather also resulted in a slower development, so he expects the start of the harvest to come a little later than normal, at the end of May or early June.

Despite the lower production, the co-op sees exports growing to 6.5 million bags in 2021 from 4.9 million bags in 2020 due to large stocks after a record crop last year.

Melo said there is a lack of containers in the market, which could delay some shipments. He thinks it will take a while for the situation to normalize.

Brazil’s coffee exporters association Cecafe has also noted shipping problems.

Cecafe’s head Nicolas Rueda said exports in March were below February volumes, probably due to traders’ difficulties to find containers and book ship space.

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