Volcafe Says 2011-12 Robusta Coffee Demand May Have Climbed 15%

Robusta coffee demand may have climbed by 15 percent, or 9 million bags, in the 2011-12 season that started in October, according to Volcafe, the coffee unit of commodities trader ED&F Man Holdings Ltd.

Robusta coffee inventories in Europe and Japan have fallen by 3.5 million bags since the beginning of the season, the Winterthur, Switzerland-based trader said in a weekly report e- mailed today. Robusta bean exports advanced 11 percent to a record 31.7 million bags for the season through June, according to the International Coffee Organization in London.

“Even if we expect end-season carryover from the enormous and record Vietnam crop to be 1.5 million bags bigger than last year, this continuous drawdown of robusta inventories is indicating a reasonable deficit occurred this year, which means that robusta demand saw spectacular, spectacular growth,” Volcafe said in the report. Vietnam is the biggest grower.

Robusta coffee prices climbed 20 percent so far this year as demand increased. The beans, which are gown mainly in Asia and parts of Africa, are used in instant drinks and espresso.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Deane at jdeane3@bloomberg.net

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