Vietnam Coffee Trade Slows on Liffe With 35% to 40% of Crop Sold

Coffee sales from farmers in Vietnam, the world’s largest producer of the robusta variety, slowed by mid-week after futures fell, according to Volcafe, a unit of commodities trader ED&F Man Holdings Ltd.

Robusta traded on NSYE Liffe in London slid as much as 2.9 percent on Jan. 8. Vietnam will produce 25 million bags of coffee in the 2012-13 season that started Oct. 1, down from 26 million bags a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A bag of coffee weighs 132 pounds.

“Physical activity up-country came to a sharp halt mid-week after Liffe collapsed,” Winterthur, Switzerland-based Volcafe said in a weekly report e-mailed today. “Since farmers have already sold 35 percent to 40 percent of the crop, they have time to ride out market dips.”

Buyers of Vietnamese coffee for shipment in February and March were paying the same price as in London, unchanged from last week, the trader’s data showed. Buyers are in no rush to pay more, so they “wait for the market’s next move,” it said.

Bean stockpiles in Vietnam are “quite high” and reflect the need to fulfil a “heavy monthly shipment schedule,” Volcafe said. Vietnamese exports climbed 40 percent to 1.76 million bags in 2012 from a year earlier, the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said last month.

In Indonesia, the world’s third-biggest robusta grower, bean deliveries from farms rose to 500 to 550 tons this week, Volcafe estimated. That compares with arrivals in the range of 180 to 220 tons last week, the trader said in a Jan. 4 report.

Buyers of coffee from Indonesia for February and March shipments were at a premium of $150 a ton over the exchange price, unchanged from last week, according to the report.

The export market is “at a standstill as prices for the remaining stocks are high,” Volcafe said. Rain continues to fall over some coffee-growing areas, which is “favorable” for the next crop, the trader said.

Robusta for March delivery advanced 0.5 percent to $1,927 a ton by 2:09 p.m. in London.

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