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SAO PAULO: Brazilian coffee farmers had sold 41% of their 2023/24 crop by early August, consultancy Safras & Mercado said on Friday, lagging the 45% sold at the same point last year and the long-term average for the period of 46%.

Safras said in a statement that producers have been more cautious when it comes to selling this year because of economic uncertainties, making for an “erratic” sales pace so far this season despite an increase in production.

The consultancy said sales of arabica coffee reached around 39% of the expected production, well below the 45% long-term average, while deals for robusta coffee were estimated at 46%. “Some producers took advantage of the bullish volatility in New York coffee prices and the US dollar to close some sales, but part of them remained on the defensive betting on a bullish lurch,” Safras consultant Gil Barabach said.

Safras estimates Brazil’s coffee production in 2023/24 at 66.7 million 60-kg bags. The consultancy said that farmers had harvested 86% of the planted areas by Aug. 8, a 6-percentage-point increase from the previous week, but still lagging last year’s 89% at the same point. The five-year average for the period stands at 90%. Barabach said dry weather and high temperatures favoured fieldwork progress last week. 80% of the arabica and 96% of the robusta coffee areas have been reaped so far, according to Safras.

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