Robusta Coffee Advances as Vietnam’s Sales Slow on Tet

Robusta coffee climbed for a third day in London to the highest in more than three months as sales from Vietnam, the world’s largest producer of the variety, slow ahead of the Lunar New Year and demand remains strong. Cocoa and sugar advanced.

Producer selling is “thinning out ahead of Tet,” London- based broker Sucden Financial Ltd. said in a report e-mailed yesterday, referring to the festival that celebrates the Lunar New Year in Vietnam this month. Robusta coffee stockpiles in NYSE Liffe-monitored warehouses were 105,530 metric tons as of Jan. 21, up 0.6 percent from two weeks earlier, even as Vietnam’s exports are forecast to have climbed 70 percent to 200,000 tons last month, data from the General Statistics Office in Hanoi showed.

“Sales from Vietnam are slowing ahead of Tet,” Jerome Jourquin, the head of agricultural commodity derivatives at brokerage Aurel BGC in Paris, said by e-mail today. “Roasters are also paying a better price than the exchange, so there is no incentive for sellers to deliver their beans via Liffe.”

Robusta coffee for delivery in March climbed 0.8 percent to $2,085 a ton by 10:58 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London, and earlier reached $2,089, the highest price since Oct. 22. Arabica coffee for delivery in March gained 0.7 percent to $1.4315 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Futures trading volumes on ICE were almost double the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Robusta coffee stockpiles are down 75 percent from the all- time high of 417,420 tons in July 2011. The exchange will update inventory data later today. The commodity gained 4.4 percent last month as suppliers in Vietnam may be “withholding significant quantities of coffee in a bid to achieve higher prices,” Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in a report on Feb. 4.

White, or refined, sugar for delivery in May was little changed at $496.80 a ton on NYSE Liffe. Raw sugar for delivery in March rose 0.4 percent to 18.26 cents a pound on ICE.

Cocoa for delivery in March gained 0.5 percent to 1,459 pounds ($2,293) a ton in London. Cocoa for delivery in March rose 0.9 percent to $2,242 a ton in New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at Ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at Ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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