So, why is the size of the Brazil crop so important?
Brazil is the world’s biggest producer of coffee and the size of the crop varies considerably each year. This season (June07-May08), the Brazil crop was very small leading to higher prices for Brazil coffees and also higher commodity market prices as global supply and demand remained closely balanced. The new crop (June08-May09) is the big question. Following a severe lack of rainfall in key growing areas in August and September 2007, many doubts were cast about the size of the 2008 crop. However, my personal on-site view of 15 farms around Poços de Caldas would indicate an abundant crop for 2008 if the farms that I saw prove representative of the (enormous) Brazil growing areas as a whole. The lack of rainfall certainly damaged young and immature trees and new plantings, but older established plants have bounced back and the trees that I saw were positively laden with fruit. My field research is not scientific, of course, and my crude estimations based on only a small sample of geogra