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Vietnam Coffee Exports to Producers Almost Double, Volcafe Says

Exports of Vietnamese coffee to other producing countries have almost doubled this season, according to Volcafe, the coffee unit of commodities trader ED&F Man Holdings Ltd.

Indonesia has been a “strong” importer after production there fell last year, the Winterthur, Switzerland-based trader said. Vietnam is the world’s largest robusta grower and Indonesia is the third biggest. Ecuador, India, Mexico and China have also been importing the beans from Vietnam, it said.

“Indonesia is of course a strong importer this season due to its disastrous 2011 crop,” Volcafe said in a report to clients and e-mailed today. “We’re estimating a 2 million-bag growth in robusta demand in all producing countries this year.”

Production in Indonesia slipped to 8.3 million bags of 132-pounds in the 2011-12 season from 9.3 million bags a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Selling from Vietnam increased this week after prices rose on the NYSE Liffe exchange, Volcafe said. Robusta coffee futures have climbed 8 percent this year.

“There is plenty of coffee around and a higher London market triggers keen selling interest,” Volcafe said in the report. “Volumes traded locally are huge.”

Sellers in Vietnam are pricing their physical beans above the March contract this week instead of the May, after March-delivered beans on NYSE Liffe became more expensive than coffee for May delivery, it said.

Vietnamese coffee for shipment in March and April was at a premium of $10 a metric ton to the price on the NYSE Liffe exchange in London, down from $20 a ton last week, data from Volcafe show. The premium would normally fall when the futures climb.

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