Brazil’s government says its farmers will harvest 55.74 million bags of coffee in 2022. That number is 16.8 percent higher than last year, but experts say that’s a smaller amount than most people in the world’s largest coffee producer were expecting. Reuters says the smaller-than-expected number is important because Brazil’s coffee production is the key to balancing global supplies. If the smaller numbers are realized, it could cause a deficit and sustain coffee prices that are currently around 10-year highs. Total production is going to fall far short of the 2020 record, the previous “on-year” crop, which was estimated at 63 million bags. Rabobank predicts that Brazil will harvest 63.5 million bags, while Hedge Point Global Markets is guessing 65.8 million bags. “It does confirm the general pessimism about the 2022 on-cycle crop,” says Ryan Delaney of Coffee Trading Academy. The worst drought in 90 years and several severe frost events hit Brazil’s coffee fields last year.