Robusta Falls as Vietnam Harvest May Start Early; Sugar Declines

Robusta coffee declined in London on speculation the crop in Vietnam, the world’s largest producer, will start early, boosting supplies. Sugar also fell.

The crop starting in October will probably rise 17 percent to a record 1.7 million metric tons (28.3 million bags), the median of nine local trader and shipper estimates compiled by Bloomberg last month showed. Volcafe, a unit of commodities trader ED&F Man Holdings Ltd., forecast a 30 million-bag crop in 2013-14. Prices have dropped 7.5 percent this year.

“Vietnam now expects their harvest to begin earlier than normal, by as much as three weeks in some areas, with a small amount of product already being harvested,” Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Inc. in Chicago, said in a report e-mailed yesterday. “Vietnamese traders estimate the crop to as much as 29 million bags.”

Robusta for November delivery declined 0.2 percent to $1,781 a ton by 11:56 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. Arabica for delivery in December gained 0.8 percent to $1.1815 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Vietnam’s crop this year is 26 million bags, Volcafe said. Production is gaining partly because of “exceptional husbandry” and more land is being used for the crop, it said.

Money managers turned bearish on robusta as of Aug. 27, exchange data showed. Net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, were 2,431 futures and options in the period, compared with a net-long position of 1,191 contracts a week earlier. Robusta may trade at $1,700 to $1,850 a ton in the “near term,” Smith said.

Cocoa for delivery in December was unchanged at 1,613 pounds ($2,520) a ton on NYSE Liffe. Cocoa for delivery in December advanced 0.8 percent to $2,437 a ton in New York.

White sugar for delivery in October fell 0.2 percent to $478 a ton in London. Raw sugar for delivery in October dropped 0.3 percent to 16.42 cents a pound in New York.  

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To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Pashley in London at apashley@bloomberg.net; 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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