SAO PAULO, July 29 (Reuters) - Temperatures fell in swathes
of Brazil on Thursday - with rare snowfall overnight in some
places - as a polar air mass advanced toward the center-south of
the global agricultural powerhouse, threatening coffee,
sugarcane and orange https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-grains-weather-idUSKBN2EY1JV
crops with frosts.
Unusually cold weather in Brazil has already sent
international prices for coffee https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/coffee-prices-surge-unusual-cold-threatens-brazilian-production-2021-07-26/#:~:text=Preliminary%20estimates%20from%20the%20Brazilian,country
's%20total%20arabica%20crop%20area and sugar higher and Friday
was forecast to be the coldest day of the year, according to
Marco Antonio dos Santos, a partner at weather consultancy firm
In a report on Thursday, dos Santos said the south of Goiás
and the south of Mato Grosso do Sul, states where farmers grow
crops like corn, would face cold temperatures on Friday as the
wave of cold air marched northwards.
"With the polar air mass strengthening, it is getting even
colder in most of the agricultural producing regions of
center-south Brazil," Santos said. "As such, the chances of
frosts in coffee, sugarcane and orange areas increased
In Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, the
cold wave has brought snow and cold rains to at least 13 cities
Local television images showed tourists and locals taking
photos and playing in the snow in the town of Sao Francisco de
Paula as temperatures fell below zero.
The polar air mass should move over Sao Paulo and Minas
Gerais, major producers of sugar, citrus and coffee, on Friday,
bringing freezing temperatures.
The extreme weather sparked concerns in global markets of a
weak harvest in Brazil, which is a major exporter of
Raw sugar futures on ICE hit a five month high on
Thursday as investors continued pricing in the effects of the
cold front in the world's largest producer.
Agriculture federation FAESP in the main sugar belt Sao
Paulo state said last week frosts had already hit 15% to 30% of
the cane crop, which will probably lead to lower production.
Indian traders for the first time have signed sugar export
contracts five months ahead of shipments https://www.reuters.com/article/india-sugar-exports/exclusive-indian-traders-sign-sugar-export-deals-in-advance-as-frost-hits-brazil-idUSL4N2P5246
as a likely drop in Brazil's production prompted buyers to
secure supplies in advance.
Arabica coffee prices touched a nearly seven-year high
earlier this week as the unusual cold weather affected the crop
in Brazil, the world's top producer, with companies poised to
pass on higher costs to consumers.
Preliminary estimates from the Brazilian government
indicated last week's frosts alone had affected 150,000 to
200,000 hectares (370,000-490,000 acres), about 11% of the
country's total arabica crop area.
"No one really knows the depth of damage undertaken," said
coffee exporter Comexim, which estimated a 13% loss on next
year's production at the Cerrado region in top coffee growing
state Minas Gerais.
Brazil's second corn crop, which represents 70% to 75% of
production in a given year, has suffered from drought and the
ill-timed frost as farmers began to harvest it. Corn is a key
ingredient for livestock feed.
The state of Parana, Brazil's number 2 grains producer, cut
its projection for the second corn crop by nearly 40% on
Thursday to 6.1 million tonnes.
The situation led global grain traders to exit their export
contracts using washout clauses, sharply reducing Brazil's
export prospects this year and increasing the need to raise corn
Wheat is also at risk from frosts as around a third of crops
in Parana, the largest Brazilian producer, is at a development
stage prone to damage from cold.
(Reporting by Ana Mano; additional reporting by Marcelo
Teixeira in New York;
Editing by Daniel Flynn and Marguerita Choy)