Coffee Rebounds in London Before Vietnam Crop; Sugar Declines

Robusta coffee rebounded in London after prices yesterday slid to the lowest in almost three years. Cocoa gained and sugar declined.

Robusta coffee futures dropped yesterday to the lowest since October 2010 and arabica fell to the lowest since July 2009 after data from the New York-based Green Coffee Association showed inventory of unroasted robusta and arabica beans in the U.S. rose last month to the highest since July 2009. While the first red cherries from the next crop in Vietnam have already been picked by farmers, the majority of the new crop “will only come from December,” Amsterdam-based trader Nedcoffee BV said in a monthly report e-mailed yesterday.

“Robusta finally gave up the ghost as aggressive selling into the November contract and negative GCA data for arabica sent robusta plummeting,” broker BGC Partners LLC in London said in a report e-mailed today. “Plentiful amounts of coffee will limit the upside potential of arabica in the near term.”

Robusta coffee for delivery in November advanced 0.2 percent to $1,684 a metric ton by 11:25 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. The price touched $1,660 a ton yesterday, the lowest intraday price for a most-active contract since Oct. 12, 2010. Arabica coffee for December delivery gained 0.1 percent to $1.1505 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Futures trading volume in New York was 39 percent lower than the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

While arabica coffee fell 20 percent this year, the robusta variety fared better, sliding 13 percent, as demand continues to favor the cheaper variety, also used in espresso. Lower prices prompted farmers in Vietnam to hold back beans. Growers were still holding 9 percent of the 2012-13 crop as of Sept. 1, according to Nedcoffee, which has offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Vietnam Harvest

Vietnam will harvest a record 30 million bags of coffee in the 2013-14 season, estimates Volcafe, the Winterthur, Switzerland-based coffee unit of commodities trader ED&F Man Holdings Ltd. Beans from the new crop are being offered for sale at a discount of $30 a ton to the exchange price, while coffee from the old crop is at a premium of $80 a ton to $100 a ton, Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Inc. in Chicago said in a report e-mailed yesterday.

Cocoa for delivery in December climbed 0.2 percent to 1,709 pounds ($2,730) a ton on NYSE Liffe. Cocoa for December delivery gained 0.1 percent to $2,617 a ton on ICE.

White sugar for December delivery slid 0.3 percent to $478.90 a ton in London. Raw sugar for delivery in March fell 0.2 percent to 17.37 cents a pound 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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