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Vietnam Coffee Seen Swinging to Premium by Volcafe

June 9 (Bloomberg) -- Robusta coffee beans from Vietnam, the world’s biggest grower of the variety, switched to trading at a premium as “producers and agents continue to halt sales into the declining market,” according to Volcafe Ltd.

The premium on Vietnamese beans for shipment in July and August was $40 a metric ton to the futures on NYSE Liffe in London last week, compared with a discount of $40 a week earlier, the unit of commodities trader ED&F Man Holdings Ltd. said in a report e-mailed June 6.

Robusta beans, used to make instant coffee and espresso, fell for five consecutive weeks through June 6 on Liffe, the longest losing streak since June last year.

In Indonesia, coffee for shipment in July and August was at a premium of $80 a ton to the London futures last week, up from $50 a ton the previous week, according to the report.

“Farmers continue drying and hold on to the coffee for Ramadan and Hari Raya,” Volcafe said. Indonesia is the world’s third-biggest grower of the robusta variety, after Vietnam and Brazil.

The harvest of the dry arabica crop in Uganda has stopped as “farmers and middlemen who held back stock keep a watchful eye on the prices as they slowly liquidate their position,” according to Volcafe.

To contact the reporter on this story: Morgane Lapeyre in London at mlapeyre@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net John Deane, Sharon Lindores

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