Robusta Coffee Falls as Vietnam Crop Concern May Be ‘Premature’

Robusta coffee fell for a second day on concern producers are selling as speculation about dry weather in leading grower Vietnam may be “premature” and the country’s exports will rise again this month. Cocoa rose.

Speculation about drought in Vietnam is “a bit premature” as the rainy season usually starts in April, Amsterdam-based trader Nedcoffee BV said in a report e-mailed yesterday. Shipments from the Southeast Asian nation may climb to 135,000 metric tons this month, the trader estimated. Coffee exports in February were 100,380 tons, a 54 percent decline from a month earlier, data from Vietnam’s General Customs department showed.

“There have been a number of stories about concerns over the Vietnamese crop and the impact of drought on next year’s harvest,” Judy Ganes-Chase, president of J. Ganes Consulting, said in a report yesterday. “Weather analysis shows that there has been rainfall and the pattern is expected to improve, so it may be too fast to assume that the crop is in trouble.”

Robusta coffee for delivery in May was down 0.4 percent at $2,167 a ton by 10:46 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. It fell 0.7 percent yesterday. Arabica coffee for delivery in May rose 0.4 percent to $1.3495 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Arabica coffee fell as much as 2.5 percent yesterday to $1.3405 a pound, the lowest since June 2010. Bean stockpiles in warehouses monitored by ICE were 2.75 million bags as of yesterday, the highest since March 2010. “Plentiful” supply is weighing on prices, Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in a report e-mailed today.

Coffee growers in Brazil, the world’s top producer, are withholding beans waiting for higher prices. Growers had sold 71 percent of last year’s crop by Feb. 28, down from 87 percent a year earlier, according to researcher Safras & Mercado.

“This measure has had little success, which is why Brazil’s government is now also discussing ways it could support the coffee price,” Fritsch said.

White sugar for May delivery was up 0.5 percent to $529.90 a ton on NYSE Liffe. Raw sugar for May delivery gained 0.4 percent to 18.37 cents a pound on ICE.

Cocoa for May delivery rose 0.2 percent to 1,417 pounds ($2,141) a ton in London. Cocoa for May delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $2,100 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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