(Updates with details on exports, comments from association)
By Marcelo Teixeira
SAO PAULO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Brazil shipped 3.45 million 60-kg bags of green coffee in October, up 33 percent from a year earlier, boosted by a record crop, exporters association Cecafé said on Thursday.
However, Cecafé said in its report that traders still face space restrictions in container ships leaving Brazil, which limited the volume shipped in October.
“We continue to face problems at ports, having to roll over shipments to ships yet to arrive,” Cecafé head Nelson Carvalhaes said in a statement.
“If it were not for that, we could have reached 4 million bags of exports in October,” he said.
Container ship liners have reduced the number of trips to and from Brazil in the last two years amid a global consolidation in the shipping industry and due to the country’s recent deep recession, which reduced export/import activity.
The Cecafé report confirmed the recovery of Brazilian robusta sector, the type of coffee mostly used by the instant coffee industry. Production of this kind of coffee was sharply reduced in the previous two years due to adverse weather conditions.
Robusta exports in October reached 364,000 bags, a level not seen since 2015. Cumulative robusta exports through October reached 2.07 mln bags this year versus 212,645 bags at same time last year.
But exports of arabica coffee are still below the level seen in previous years despite this year’s record crop around 60 million bags in total.
Cumulative arabica exports from January to October reached 22.4 million bags, still below levels seen for that period in 2014, 2015 and 2016, according to Cecafé data, a sign that farmers are being selective in sales, holding stocks while hoping prices rise. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and David Gregorio)