Commodities Buzz : Robusta Scales New Price Highs In Brazil

Robusta coffee has, for the first time, become more expensive in Brazil than arabica coffee, as weak rainfall levels provoke fears that the country will in 2017 suffer a third successive drought-damaged harvest.

Robusta coffee prices in Espirito Santo, Brazil’s top producing state for the variety, rose 1.2% on Thursday to hit R$518.58 a bag, according to research institute Cepea.

Besides being a record high robusta price, on data going back to 2001, the increase also took robusta prices above those of arabica beans in Brazil for the first time.Arabica coffee – generally considered of higher quality, and which forms the basis of more expensive roaster offerings – typically enjoys a strong premium which averaged nearly R$130 a bag in Brazil last year, on equivalent to about 30%.

Robusta prices, which as measured by Cepea are up 37% this year, have been boosted of late by further concerns over the prolonged dryness in Espirito Santo, which threatens to leave the state in 2017 reporting a third successive drought-depleted harvest.

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