Brazil’s Robusta industry takes hit from drought

Two years of drought in Brazil are starting to take a dramatic toll on the nation’s Robusta industry, with companies laying off workers employed to transport, process and store the crop. In what is being slated as the worst drought in 80 years, many producers are now tearing up trees ruined by the dry conditions, leading to a dim outlook for the 2017 crop as well. While Robusta prices have reached record levels due to the tight supply, exports of Brazil’s Conilon variety are down by 90 per cent over the past 12 months versus the previous year. While Brazil’s Arabica production has improved thanks to recent rains, the long-term damage to the Robusta crop is expected to have effects going beyond this year, and is affecting employment in the industry.

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