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Brazil Coffee Discount Steady as Trade at a ‘Standstill’

The discount buyers are getting on coffee from Brazil, the world’s largest producer, held steady this week on “standstill” trading after prices in New York resumed their slide, according to Flavour Coffee.

Fine cup beans for May and June shipment are trading at a discount of 8 cents a pound to the price on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, data from Rio de Janeiro-based broker showed. Buyers of good cup beans for shipment in June and July are getting a discount of 15 cents a pound to the exchange price, according to the data. Both were unchanged from last week.

Arabica coffee fell as much as 4 percent in New York yesterday as fears of a frost in Brazil eased. Coffee areas will be free of frost for the next 10 days, forecaster Somar Meteorologia said on May 2. A frost alert for Parana, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, Brazil’s largest arabica-producing state, was issued by government’s Meteorology Institute, known as Inmet, on May 1, sending prices up as much as 2.8 percent.

With “weaker ICE performances, business went to a complete standstill as producers somewhat were able to keep their offers unchanged,” Flavour Coffee said in a weekly report e-mailed yesterday.

Temperatures in major coffee areas stayed at 8 degrees to 12 degrees Celsius (46 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit), far from freeze levels, Flavour Coffee said. Freezing in Brazilian growing regions can damage trees bearing the following year’s crop. The last major frosts happened in 1994 and in 1975, sending prices up in 1997 and to a record in 1977.

Robusta Premium

Conillons, as Brazilian robusta coffee is known, are trading at a premium of 4 cents a pound to the price on NYSE Liffe in London for May, June and July shipments, up from 3 cents a pound last week, data from the broker show.

“Arrivals of new crop keep improving with producers focused on harvesting and drying procedures,” Flavour Coffee said. “Surprisingly prices are firmer, with reasonable demand for both new and current crop,” according to the report.

Harvesting of the 2012-13 robusta crop has started in Rondonia and Espirito Santo, the main growing states, according to Cepea, a University of Sao Paulo research group.

Arabica coffee is grown mainly in Latin America and is favored for specialty drinks such as those made by Starbucks Corp. Robusta beans are grown mainly in Asia and parts of Africa and are used in instant drinks and espresso.

Robusta coffee for July delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1,984 a ton by 10:30 a.m on NYSE Liffe in London. Arabica coffee for July delivery rose 0.4 percent to $1.765 a pound on ICE.

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