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GUAXUPÉ, Brazil, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Pinhalense SA Maquinas Agrícolas, Brazil's largest coffee equipment maker, had a sharp increase in sales this year as farmers took advantage of high prices in the crop to invest in better machinery, its president said on Thursday.
Reymar Coutinho de Andrade said that Pinhalense - which produces machines to clean, separate, wash, store and roast coffee - doubled its sales at the annual Femagri coffee equipment fair in Guaxupé versus a year earlier, defying Brazil's deepest recession in generations.
Brazil is the top producer and exporter of coffee, supplying a third of the coffee consumed in the world.
"We've seen consecutive years of good prices for coffee. The country is in a recession, but not the agricultural sector," said Andrade. "And coffee is in a better position than other commodities."
Pinhalense, which exports its machines to almost 100 countries, projects a 15 percent increase in revenues in 2017. Its sales reached 160 million reais ($51.2 million) last year.
It is supplying the equipment to a new early-processing unit for coffee being built at Cooxupé, the world's largest coffee cooperative. That will be the biggest installation of its kind when completed.
Cooxupé, which expects to receive 5.8 million 60-kg bags of coffee from farmers in 2017, organizes the Femagri fair and its producers make up the bulk of clients at the event.
The president of Pinhalense said another reason for higher sales is a trend among producers to aim for higher quality beans to fetch better prices in the export market.
The company has a whole line of machines used to better prepare beans and meet increasing quality standards from buyers who are seeking a better drinking experience. ($1 = 3.12 Brazilian reais) (Writing by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Andrew Hay)