(Adds comments from Cecafé head, context)
SAO PAULO, March 28 (Reuters) - Brazilian coffee exporters should ship abroad at least 35 million 60-kg bags in the 2018-19 crop, including green, instant and ground roasted coffee, Nelson Carvalhaes, head of exporters association Cecafé, said on Wednesday.
He did not provide a comparative number for the previous crop, but in the calendar year 2017 Brazil, the world’s largest coffee exporter, sold 30.9 million bags of those types of coffees abroad, said Cecafé.
Brazil is expected to produce a record coffee crop in 2018-19, seen by the government at 56.4 million bags.
Addressing coffee producers at a conference in Sao Paulo, Carvalhaes said farmers should not worry about the prospects for the large production that have been pressuring international coffee prices, saying he expects strong demand ahead which should limit a price decline.
“If you take that estimate for exports and add more than 22 million bags that Brazil should consume, you will basically find destination for the entire crop,” Carvalhaes said.
Brazil’s coffee processors group Abic, which also attended the conference, projects local demand to grow 3.5 percent in 2018 from the 22 million bags consumed last year. Abic sees consumption in Brazil growing at a higher rate than the global average growth which is below 3 percent.
Brazilian total coffee exports reached a record of 37 million bags in 2015, but sales abroad have been declining since then due to falling supplies, high global stocks and competition from other producing countries.
Brazil is approaching the start of harvesting of its 2018-19 crop (July/June). The first new crop volumes should start to reach warehouses around May. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Sandra Maler and Diane Craft)