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Robusta Coffee Reaches 5-Month Low as Vietnam Sells; Sugar Gains

Robusta coffee reached a five-month low in London on speculation farmers in Vietnam, the world’s largest producer of the variety used in instant drinks, are increasing bean sales. Sugar gained.

Coffee prices in Vietnam fell 3.5 percent in the past two weeks, data from the Daklak Trade & Tourism Center on Bloomberg showed. Dak Lak is the nation’s main growing region. Global robusta coffee production will rise 2.9 percent to 70 million bags in the 2013-14 season after gaining almost 9 percent in the current period, ED&F Man Holdings Ltd.’s Volcafe unit estimates.

“There’s actually no supportive news,” Andrea Thompson, the Belfast, Northern Ireland-based head of research and analysis at INTL FCStone Inc.’s CoffeeNetwork unit, said by phone today. “We’ve got strong flow of 2012-13 crop from Vietnam, good development of the 2013-14 crop in Vietnam and also the prospect of another world robusta record crop.”

Robusta coffee for delivery in July slid 1.1 percent to $1,900 a metric ton by 1:05 p.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. Earlier, the price fell to $1,891, the lowest since Dec. 21. Arabica coffee for the same delivery month gained 0.9 percent to $1.276 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price difference between the two varieties was 41 cents a pound.

Vietnam will produce 25.5 million bags of coffee this season and crop development favors a 2013-14 harvest of similar size, Thompson said. The coffee season usually starts in October in most nations. A bag usually weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

White, or refined, sugar for delivery in August added 0.3 percent to $477.90 a ton on NYSE Liffe. Raw sugar for delivery in July was up 0.5 percent to 16.81 cents a pound on ICE.

Bets raw sugar will fall below 16.50 cents a pound before July more than doubled this month, ICE data show. Investors held 28,330 so-called put options giving the right to sell futures for July delivery at that price by May 24, according to exchange data on Bloomberg, against the month-earlier 10,645 contracts.

Cocoa for delivery in July was unchanged at 1,503 pounds ($2,271) a ton in London. Cocoa for the same delivery month rose 0.1 percent to $2,207 a ton in New York. ICE futures trading volumes were 23 percent below 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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