Brazil to import robusta coffee: first time in decades

As you know,Earlier in the week Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi asked Brazilian government to allow coffee processors to import robusta beans after drought hurt this season local robusta production which leads to supply crisis that threatens to sharply reduce instant coffee production.

It should be noted that ,it would be the first time in decades that Brazil,world’s largest producer and exporter of green coffee and also the No.1 shipper of instant coffee,will imports robusta coffee.

Brazil produced a record arabica coffee crop in 2016, but the robusta output fell to the lowest since 2004 after droughts in the main producing state Espirito Santo.

Latest update on request to import robusta coffee:

Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said on Wednesday The Brazilian government is expected to allow coffee processors to import robusta beans.

“Considering the data we have regarding robusta stocks, it is recommended that we allow imports during a specific period,” said Maggi.

Brazilian coffee processors would be entitled to buy the beans abroad from January to May. Orders would be limited to 200,000 60-kg bags per month.

Despite the Agriculture Ministry’s position in favor of imports, there is no final decision by the government.

It was not clear yet which countries would import the robusta coffee beans.

Earlier on Wednesday local newspaper Valor Econmico reported that Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer and exporter, would let processors such as instant coffee makers buy the beans from Vietnam.

Maggi said, however, it would not be the case right away.

“Right now, the only countries licensed to sell coffee to Brazil are Paraguay and Peru,” he said, adding that Vietnam would still have to pass a risk evaluation for possible plant diseases.

Agricultural Policy Secretary told that the new policy should be finalized soon.The issue has been well-evaluated, and we should open imports for a limited period, and for a limited amount.

Brazil has not allowed any imports of foreign beans for years due to concerns that they could bring diseases into the country.

Local processors, particularly of instant coffee, for years have pushed the government to allow the imports as a way to increase supply and make the industry more competitive abroad.

Robusta beans are normally used by instant coffee makers, while roasters prefer milder arabicas.

Coffee producers group CNA, which is against allowing any imports, said a final decision on the issue was still pending.

CNA said the current robusta supply crisis, caused by two years of drought in top-producing state Esporito Santo, is likely to end next year as the region’s coffee fields recover.

The government projects Brazil’s robusta output this year at 8.35 million bags weighing 60 kg each, compared with about 13 million bags in 2014, before the droughts