Leslie Josephs – The Wall Street Journal, 07/11/2012
NEW YORK—Unseasonable rainfall in Brazil is degrading the world’s biggest coffee grower’s crop this year and driving up prices for the globally traded commodity.
Arabica coffee for September delivery hit an intraday high on ICE Futures U.S. of $1.9220 a pound on Wednesday, a more than three-month high.
The above-normal precipitation knocked coffee cherries from trees and created a fertile environment for fungus, which hurts the quality of the beans.
“There’s no doubt that we have had damage to [the] quality [of the beans],” said Guilherme Braga, the head of Brazilian coffee-exporter association CeCafe. The rains have also delayed harvesting for a month, he added. Heavy rains prevented machinery and farmers from accessing coffee fields.