Brazilian Government Revises Bean Production Down

August 22, 2017
In mid-to-late May, persistent rains hit crops in the south of Brazil, causing some losses and lowering overall crop quality in the main black bean growing state of Parana. Consequently, in July, Conab (Companhia Nacional de Abatecimento, “National Supply Company”) estimated the black bean crop would be 11.5% lower than it expected in June (16.5% lower than May estimate). The new estimate is 187,000 MT. Some in-country sources point out that the losses could be larger than those reported by Conab.  Despite differing views about total losses, the unanimous opinion is that black bean quality is below average. The third harvest, which is already coming out in irrigated areas, is 93% carioca beans, so it will not add appreciably to domestic supplies of black beans.
As usual, Brazil will depend on imports to meet domestic demand for black beans in the second half of 2017. Most are sourced from Argentina, a fellow Mercosur member, and enter duty-free and overland. Despite a few weather and mold setbacks, Argentine black bean harvest is almost complete and looks good. China is typically the second source, but Chinese quantities have fallen and quality is not reliable. This has opened the door to U.S. imports, which have gained a reputation for high quality and “the quality contracted is the quality received.” We will be keeping an eye on market developments and reporting back as new information is available.
Posted in: Bean Bulletin