Nedcoffee Sees Vietnam Coffee Exports Rising in March on Demand

Coffee exports from Vietnam, the world’s largest producer of the robusta variety used in instant drinks, are set to rise this month as demand remains “excellent,” according to Amsterdam-based trader Nedcoffee BV.

Shipments in February totaled 100,380 metric tons, 54 percent lower from a month earlier, data from Vietnam’s General Customs department showed. They rose 35 percent month-on-month in January, according to the department. In the first eight days of March, exports totaled 36,240 tons, Nedcoffee, which has offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, said in a report e-mailed yesterday. If the current pace continues, shipments may reach 135,000 tons this month, according to the report.

“Exports are expected to rise again in March as roasters’ demand remains excellent, plus bigger quantities being shipped to replenish certified stocks in Europe,” Nedcoffee said.

Robusta coffee stockpiles in warehouses monitored by the NYSE Liffe exchange in London rose 125,820 tons as of March 4, up 11 percent from two weeks earlier, according to the bourse. Vietnam may export just below 90,000 tons of coffee a month from April to September, Nedcoffee said.

Talks of drought in Vietnam are “a bit premature” as the rainy season usually starts in April, according to the trader. Drought in the central region covering five coffee-growing provinces will continue and may become more severe, the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said on March 5. River water levels in the region will “fall slowly” in the 10 days through March 20, the center said March 11.

“Coffee plantations are still more lush and green than the last time there was a drought back in 2005-06,” Nedcoffee said.

Indonesian Crop

In Indonesia, the third-biggest robusta grower, the weather continues to be favorable for bean development as it rains almost every day in the afternoon or at night, Nedcoffee said. The trader is sticking to its forecast for the 2013-14 season starting next month of about 335,000 tons for the robusta crop in southern Sumatra, the main growing region. That’s 1.1 percent lower than a year earlier, according to Nedcoffee data.

Bean stockpiles held by exporters in Lampung at the end of February were 6,000 tons, according to Nedcoffee. Robusta coffee for delivery in May was down 0.4 percent at $2,167 a ton by 10:51 a.m. in London.

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