| SAO PAULO
SAO PAULO Oct 14 Brazil's main CCCMG physical
coffee exchange reported on Friday that trees in the world's
leading exporter of the commodity entered into widespread
flowering after recent rains, the first signs of the coming 2017
crop after several years of drought.
The CCCMG, nestled in the town of Varginha in southern Minas
Gerais, the state that accounts for half of Brazil's annual
coffee output, posted photographs of flowering trees submitted
by producers from across the country's main growing regions.
Trees showed limited flowering in late September, but
analysts had doubts about the viability of the fruit that would
be produced by such early blooms.
The current wave of flowering across the coffee belt is
considered the first major bloom of what typically amounts to
two to three every spring and go on to define the size and
quality of the next year's crop.
Analysts expect Brazil's 2017 crop to be smaller than the
current harvest that ended in the past few weeks, due to the
natural biennial cycle of coffee trees, in which larger and
smaller harvests alternate from year to year.
But a good series of flowerings followed by regular rains
could help minimize the downward pressure that next year's cycle
is expected to have on output, according to analysts such as Gil
Barabach at consultants Safras & Mercado.
"It's too early to say how big the next crop will be," he
said, adding that if rains continue to be favorable, the next
crop's output could be surprisingly large for a down-year in the
The price of coffee is also still attractive enough for
producers to invest in fertilizers, pesticides and other
Current rains are certainly helping the first wave of
Widespread showers have been falling over the coffee belt
with regularity early in the Southern Hemisphere's spring. Rains
can be erratic at this time of year and typically only intensify
from November through February.
Reuters' Agricultural Weather Dashboard forecast 7.4
millimeters (0.3 inch) of rain over the next three days in
Brazil's South Minas region, which produces a quarter of the
The region has received 99 mm of rain over the past two
months, compared with the typical 132 mm this time of year, the
(Reporting by Reese Ewing, editing by G Crosse)