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EXPORTAÇÕES   19/10/2021
Brazil expands coffee exports to Colombia

Colombia, the world’s second-largest exporter of Arabica coffee, famously imports coffee from the ranking leader, Brazil – and the volume of purchases has been growing steadily.

This year, between January and September, Brazilian sales of green coffee to Colombia totaled 814,000 60-kilo bags. The volume is 90% higher than that seen
in the same period last year and more than six times higher than that seen just three years ago, according to a recent report by the Council of Coffee Exporters of Brazil (Cecafé). Shipments totaled 479,000 bags in 2018. In 2019 and 2020, they totaled and 298,000 and 794,000 respectively.

The phenomenon is not new as Brazil has been exporting coffee to Colombia for at least ten years, said Eduardo Heron, technical head at Cecafé. But it takes on new meanings as Colombia has been failing to fulfill many orders for the grain. Colombian coffee growers could not deliver about 10% of the crop this year, which has affected industrial companies, traders and exporters, as
Reuters reported last week. Roberto Vélez, head of Colombia’s National Federation of Coffee Growers, told the news agency the country faces “generalized shortages.”

“Colombia has launched programs to encourage internal consumption. As a result, the local roasting industry has been demanding more Brazilian coffee,”
Mr. Heron, with Cecafé, said. According to him, imports have increased since 2018, following the trend of growing consumption of the drink in the world.
Data from the International Coffee Organization (ICO) show that consumption in the Colombian domestic market grew 62% between 2000 and 2020, when it reached
2.1 million bags. In this period, the country’s coffee production increased 38%, to 14 million bags.

Shipments of Arabica, the variety that Colombians buy most from Brazil, almost doubled between 2020 and 2021, reaching 619,000 bags in the first nine months this year, compared with 360,000 bags in the same period last year. The increase in conilon sales was also remarkable: in the same comparison, the volume jumped to 195,000 bags from 70,000, according to Cecafé.

With the increase in volumes and prices in 2021, Brazil’s income with green coffee exports to Colombia more than doubled to $85 million in the year to
September. Soluble and roasted products are also on the export list but in smaller volumes.

Although the increase in Brazilian sales to Colombia occurs as the neighboring country fails to fulfill many orders, Mr. Heron rules out the possibility of
Colombia re-exporting Brazilian coffee. “I don’t think that’s the reason,” he said. “Consumption has grown in the world, and Colombia’s production, despite being on the rise, has failed to meet external and domestic demand.”

The grains Colombians have been buying boast the same quality as that Brazilians consume, said Pedro Valim, a partner and director of Minas Gerais-based brokerage Barão Comissária Café, which operates in Varginha, one
of the largest coffee negotiation centers in the world. Mr. Valim has been brokering shipments to Colombia for three years.

“Most of Colombian coffee production is for export, aimed at markets that pay better. There is not so much left for the domestic market,” Mr. Valim said.
The coffee consumed domestically, whether in Colombia or in Brazil, has a different standard of product destined for the international market. For comparison purposes, large brands that sell coffee in Brazil can buy beans
resulting from grading with about 600 defects (broken or black, for example), while products sent to pickier markets can have, at most, 15 to 25 defects.

Other producing countries, such as Ecuador and Mexico, have also been increasing their purchases of Brazilian coffee. The higher global consumption is occurring at a faster pace than production, which has also affected the
dynamics of shipments among major producing countries. According to the most recent ICO report, world coffee consumption, considering both varieties combined, grew 1.9% in the 2020/21 crop year in comparison with the previous cycle, to 167.3 million bags. Production, meanwhile, increased by 0.4% worldwide to 169 million bags.

Fonte: Valor Econômico
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