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Brazil drought puts froth on coffee prices

The morning caffeine hit is about to get more pricey as drought in top producer Brazil has sparked fears of a global shortfall of coffee this year, sending the price of beans soaring. Coffee prices hit their highest point in two years in New York, with Arabica beans due for delivery in May fetching 203.75 cents per pound, more than double that of the 100.95 cents per pound in November. The worst drought to hit Brazil in decades has sparked fears that the crop in the world's top coffee producer could shrink for the second consecutive year for the first time since 1970.

Falling coffee prices weigh on Brazil producers

The husks, baked dry and black in the hot Brazilian sun, crumble in the hand, revealing pale green beans. But those coffee beans could go to waste, as world prices falter. "It's good coffee — they should be drying it and getting it ready for export," says Celso Scanavachi, an engineer at the Coopinhal farm cooperative in Santo Espiritu do Pinhal, north of Sao Paulo. "The producer has abandoned 40 percent of the crop; the retail price doesn't cover the cost of harvesting," he says.
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