Robusta Coffee Swings on Inventory, Vietnam Exports; Sugar Rises

Robusta coffee swung between losses and gains in London as traders weighed a gain in stockpiles against falling exports from leading producer Vietnam and slow bean arrivals in Indonesia. Sugar advanced.

Bean stockpiles with a valid grading certificate in warehouses monitored by NYSE Liffe rose to 127,270 metric tons as of May 13, up from 126,100 tons two weeks earlier, according to exchange data published yesterday. Shipments from Vietnam dropped 30 percent in April from a month earlier, customs data showed. A lack of sunshine in Indonesia is delaying bean drying and slowing deliveries from farms, said Nedcoffee BV.

Robusta “will likely continue to outperform arabica for the remainder of 2013 due to slow Indonesian arrivals and difficulties in obtaining Vietnamese robusta,” Kona Haque, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd., said in a report e-mailed today

Robusta coffee futures for July delivery gained 0.1 percent to $2,048 a ton by 10:57 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. Prices rose and retreated as much as 0.2 percent earlier today. Arabica coffee futures for July delivery advanced 0.9 percent to $1.411 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Coffee exports from Vietnam totaled 110,818 tons in April, according to the country’s customs department. Shipments from January to April were down 16 percent from a year earlier, the data showed. Bean deliveries to Bandar Lampung, where Indonesia’s main coffee export port is located, are about 34 percent lower since the season started last month than the same period a year earlier, Amsterdam-based trader Nedcoffee said on May 15.

Vietnam Beans

Lower availability of robusta beans is lifting the premium buyers need to pay to obtain coffee from Vietnam, Nguyen Chi Cuong, chief executive officer at trading company NC Group Ltd., which has offices in Ho Chi Minh City, said in an e-mail on May 15. Vietnamese beans are trading at a premium of $70 a ton to the exchange price, up $20 a ton from a week earlier, he said.

Arabica is grown mostly in Latin America and favored for specialty drinks, while robusta comes mainly from Asia and parts of Africa and is used in instant coffee and espresso. Roasters use both beans in some blends.

White, or refined, sugar for delivery in August was up 0.5 percent to $478.70 a ton on NYSE Liffe. Raw sugar for delivery in July rose 0.9 percent to 16.98 cents a pound on ICE.

Cocoa for delivery in July gained 0.2 percent to 1,532 pounds ($2,335) a ton in London. Cocoa for July delivery slid 0.2 percent to $2,289 a ton in New York. Futures trading volumes in New York were more than double the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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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