Robusta Coffee Falls in London on Vietnam’s Crop; Cocoa Retreats

Robusta coffee fell for the first time in four days in London, catching up with arabica’s drop yesterday, with top grower Vietnam harvesting what may be the second-biggest crop ever. Cocoa extended its drop.

Arabica coffee fell to a 30-month low in New York after Brazil raised its forecast for this year’s harvest to a record 50.8 million bags. That is up from the 50.5 million bags forecast in September, according to the Agriculture Ministry. Brazil is the top producer of all coffee. Vietnam, which grows mostly robusta beans, will produce 25 million bags in the season started Oct. 1 after 26 million bags in 2011-12, the all-time high, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.

“Vietnamese supplies will continue to be working into the market and this will weigh on prices,” Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Inc. in Chicago, wrote in a report e-mailed yesterday.

Robusta coffee for March delivery retreated 0.4 percent to $1,879 a metric ton by 10:22 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. Arabica coffee for March delivery was little changed at $1.43 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

While arabica has fallen 36 percent this year, making it the worst performer in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials, robusta futures gained 3.8 percent. That cut arabica’s premium over robusta to 57 cents a pound yesterday. A Bloomberg survey published Aug. 28 predicted the difference would reach 55 cents a pound by the end of the year. That day, it was 74 cents a pound.

Coffee Range

“Robusta, while not suffering as brutally as arabica, has been weak since touching the $2,200 a ton level,” Smith said. “Look for a range between $1,800 and $1,940 a ton near term.”

Cocoa for March delivery fell 0.9 percent to 1,458 pounds ($2,370) a ton on NYSE Liffe. It’s up 5.7 percent this year. Cocoa for March delivery fell as much as 1 percent to $2,305 a ton on ICE, the lowest since July 25. The commodity gained 9.6 percent this year.

White, or refined, sugar for March delivery was little changed at $516.10 a ton in London. It fell 14 percent this year. Raw sugar for March delivery slid 0.4 percent to 19.18 cents a pound in New York. It lost 18 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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