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Brazil Bears Watching
November 01, 2001

By Jois Alaby

Brazils markets for Carioca beans and black beans have remained unchanged in the course of September, that is to say that market prices have not changed and have continued to remain at high levels.

Prices are estimated to remain unchanged until the second half of November when the first lots of dry beans under the new 2001/02 first crop starts to be harvested.

Dry beans in the northeastern states of Sergipe, Alagoas and Bahia are estimated to suffer losses of 50% in yields due to the severe drought and lack of rainfall being experienced. Nearly 70% of the crop has already been planted.

In the southern states of Brazil, an estimated 26,000 hectares, or 65,000 acres, were damaged by a cold front that hit the region in the first half of September. Most of the planted area is expected to be replanted; however, dry bean growers might be faced with a shortage of seeds. A more accurate picture will be determined by the end of the planting period on October 20, 2001.

Imported black beans have reached the marketplace of Sao Paulo at an average price of $33.43 (U.S. dollars) per cwt paid by dealers. Domestic black beans have averaged $32.82 per cwt paid by dealers to dry bean growers in Sao Paulo.

Export opportunities

Market prices are expected to remain firm until December, 2001 when the new 2001/02 crop becomes available. Planted area for the first crop 2001/02 is expected to increase 26% throughout the country since growers have been attracted to the current high market prices.

Considering a carry forward volume of nearly 150,000 metric tons, and a repetition of the production volume under the second and third crops in the course of 2002, in spite of the increase in production under the first upcoming crop, imports are estimated to reach a minimum of 100,000 metric tons, mostly of black beans.

It is very important to closely follow the performance of the 2001/02 crops. Export opportunities for the U.S. should be higher in 2002 since the carry forward volume going into this new crop cycle is nearly three times less than it was one year ago.

Alaby is the National Dry Bean Councils market consultant in Brazil.


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