Brazil coffee exports fall 20% in May amid container shortage


Includes details of exports, comments from Cecafe

SAO PAULO/NEW YORK, June 11 (Reuters) - Green coffee exports from Brazil, the world's largest producer, fell 20% in May from the same month a year ago to 2.34 million 60-kg bags, exporters association Cecafe said on Friday, citing logistic issues as one of the reasons for the reduction.

Cecafe said that an ongoing shortage of containers, as well as limited space in vessels, have prevented the country from shipping a higher coffee volume abroad last month.

Exports of arabica, the milder coffee preferred by coffee shops and premium brands, fell 16% to 2.05 million bags, while shipments of robusta, the type widely used to make instant coffee, fell 40% to 287,627 bags.

Cecafe's head Nicolas Rueda said port congestion in Asia and in the United States have reduced the availability of containers for Brazilian exporters, who are having difficulties booking the shipping boxes.

Rueda also said that recent changes approved by the International Coffee Association (ICO) in the way coffee exports should be reported contributed to the delays, since companies are still getting used to the documents.

But he said the change will be positive as a way to harmonize statistics in the sector.

Exports in May were the smallest for that month since 2018, Cecafe said.

Brazil's fall comes in a moment when Colombia, the world's third largest coffee producer, faces major problems with protests blocking roads to ports.

(Reporting by Roberto Samora and Marcelo Teixeira; editing by Diane Craft and Jonathan Oatis)

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