(Adds data on exports, comments from Cecafé president)
By Marcelo Teixeira
SAO PAULO, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Brazilian coffee exporters shipped 2.73 million 60-kg bags of coffee abroad in September, 27 percent more than a year earlier, but a lack of container space in ships prevented larger volumes as the country sells a record crop.
Coffee exporters association Cecafé said on Wednesday that some exporters had to delay loading of coffee at ports because they could not find cargo space in container ships. Cecafé said it had asked Brazil’s government for help to solve the problem.
Cecafé estimates shipments could have been between 10 percent and 15 percent larger last month if there had been more space in ships leaving the country.
The bottleneck has been going on for a while in Brazil, Reuters reported recently. Exporters have expressed worries over how to handle Brazil’s largest ever coffee production of around 60 million bags.
“The exporter has been doing its part. He has prepared the cargoes, cleared documentation, leaving it ready to load at ports. But sometimes the loading is rolled over to the next ship due to lack of room,” Cecafé President Nelson Carvalhaes said in a statement.
He said the association is in contact with Brazilian government agency Antaq, which oversees maritime transportation, to find a solution.
Exports of arabica coffee made up most of the total in September, at 2.44 million bags, 14.9 percent more than in the same month a year earlier.
Robusta shipments reached 291,655 bags, more than a 1,000 percent more than the year-earlier period, as Brazil recovers sharply from bad robusta production in 2016 and 2017. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira Editing by Paul Simao)