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Vietnam Coffee Farmers Seen Harvesting 35% of Crop, Selling 15%

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Coffee farmers in Vietnam, the world’s largest producer of the robusta variety, have harvested 35 percent of the crop that started Oct. 1 and sold about 15 percent, according to Amsterdam-based trader Nedcoffee BV.

Vietnam’s 2012-13 crop may be similar to the record 26.5 million bags produced last season, according to Andrea Thompson, the Belfast, Northern Ireland-based head of research and analysis at CoffeeNetwork, a unit of broker INTL FCStone Inc. Speculation of a large crop prompted local prices to drop 6.4 percent over the past month to 37,900 dong ($1.82) a kilogram (2.2 pounds), data from the Daklak Trade & Tourism Center on Bloomberg showed. A bag of coffee weighs 132 pounds.

“Recent price falls have slowed the farmers from selling,” Nedcoffee, which has offices in the country, said in a report e-mailed today. “They are currently more focused on speeding up the harvest and at the same time waiting for the magic number 40,000 dong a kilogram to come again.”

Bean stockpiles in Ho Chi Minh City dropped 40,000 metric tons to 100,000 tons in the past four weeks, Nedcoffee said. The weather has been “perfect” for the harvest and the crop will be one to two weeks earlier than last year.

In Indonesia, the third-biggest robusta grower, about 90 percent of the 2012-13 crop in southern Sumatra, the country’s main growing region, has been harvested, Nedcoffee said. The season there started in April. About 85 percent of the beans picked have been delivered, according to the report.

Deliveries to Bandar Lampung rose about 127 percent year-on-year to 210,350 tons, the trader estimated. Flowers before the new crop are blossoming “very well,” and next year’s crop production is expected to be “slightly higher” than this year’s forecast.

Robusta coffee for January delivery was unchanged at $1,903 a ton by 4:36 p.m. in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stuart Wallace at swallace6@bloomberg.net

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