(Adds producer quotes, details)
By Anthony Boadle
BRASILIA Aug 5 Brazil's government infuriated
coffee producers on Monday, when it did not make an expected
announcement about price support measures, and Agriculture
Minister Antonio Andrade said the government needed more time to
It was not clear when the measures would be announced in the
world's largest coffee producer. Andrade said a possible date
was Wednesday, when President Dilma Rousseff is expected to
travel to top-producing state Minas Gerais.
"We wanted more than we could have announced today," Andrade
told reporters at a news conference.
Producers in countries like Brazil and Colombia are
increasingly pressuring governments to rescue them from slumping
coffee prices, now below production costs. Coffee growers said
they may hold protests.
"I'm selling coffee for the price of bananas," said producer
Flavor Bahia who traveled 1,200 kilometers from Minas Gerais to
listen to an announcement that never came.
Two sources told Reuters on Friday the government planned to
support prices by purchasing 3 million bags of coffee from
growers and selling options contracts at an auction to coffee
producers or cooperatives, helping them set a minimum price.
Brazil officially established a minimum price for Arabica
coffee at 307 reais ($132.90) a bag earlier this year. Producers
expected the government to say it will buy the beans for much
more to help them meet rising costs.
"Coffee producers are selling for whatever price they can
find, around 280 reais," said Carlos Paulino, the president of
Brazil's largest coffee cooperative, Cooxupe.
"Based on prior talks with the government, we had expected a
price of 340 reais and that the government would buy 3 million
bags," he told reporters.
September arabica coffee futures on ICE ended up 1.40
cents, or about 1.0 percent, at $1.1965 per lb on Monday. Last
week, front month futures sank to a four-year
($1 = 2.31 reais)
(Additional reporting by Nestor Rabello; Writing by Caroline
Stauffer; Editing by David Gregorio)