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UPDATE 1-Brazil's Cooxupe sees lower coffee shipments in the first half of 2023 -president

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SAO PAULO, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Brazilian co-op Cooxupe expects coffee exports in the country to decline in the first half of 2023, following a lower-than-expected harvest in 2022, said its president Carlos Augusto Rodrigues de Melo.

For this year's shipments target of 6.8 million 60-kilo bag - a volume that considers total sales, but mainly exports -, the cooperative does not expect to make major changes in the projection, he added.

"It is early to think about a new export target for 2022, given that exports in the first half of the year were satisfactory. We understand that if we do not reach 6.8 million bags, we will be close to that," he told Reuters late on Wednesday.

"However, for the first half of next year, we understand that exports will fall because the 2022 harvest is 15% to 20% lower than expected," Melo said.

The coffee harvest in Brazil usually gains momentum in the first half of the year. Therefore, shipments for most of the six initial months of next year are set to be made with the 2022 harvest.

The volume of Cooxupe's 2022 harvest, which is in its final stages, was below expectations because coffee plants suffered the impact of last year's frosts and drought.

Cooxupe farmers expect the 2022 harvest volume to fall to 6.3 million bags, from the 7.5 million bags initially projected for the year, further away from the record of 10.99 million bags recorded in 2021. (Reporting by Roberto Samora; Editing by Steven Grattan)

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