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Rain brings relief to scorched cane, coffee areas in Brazil

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Widespread rains fell over most coffee and sugarcane areas in center-south Brazil during the weekend and are expected to continue in coming days, bringing desired moisture to scorched fields, according to weather maps and agronomists.

[SAO PAULO] Widespread rains fell over most coffee and sugarcane areas in center-south Brazil during the weekend and are expected to continue in coming days, bringing desired moisture to scorched fields, according to weather maps and agronomists.

Eikon's Agriculture Weather Dashboard showed coffee plantations in the south of Minas Gerais state, Brazil's leading producing region, received 30 millimeters (1.18 inches) of rain over the weekend.

The Ribeirão Preto region, Brazil's leading sugarcane growing area, got 12.4 millimeters (half an inch) of rain during the weekend and is expected to receive 6.4 millimeters (quarter inch) more on Monday and Tuesday. Other cane areas in the Sao Paulo state reported larger amounts such as the Piracicaba area, which received some 40 millimeters (1.5 inches).

Despite paralyzing harvesting work for both coffee and cane, the rains will provide moisture to help development those crops. Both crops, but particularly cane, were suffering due to a dryer-than-normal winter in the southern hemisphere.

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Several consultancies have cut their projections for the center-south cane crop due to the drought, which is likely to reduce volumes in the final third of the season from now to November. There were also expectations for a poor output next year.

For coffee, analysts have worried about the impact on next year's crop, which will already be smaller due to the biennial coffee production cycle where a bigger crop in one year alternates with a much smaller one in the following year due to the production stress on trees.

Brazil is expected to harvest a record coffee crop this year of about 58 million bags.

REUTERS