Vietnam coffee prices edge up on scarce supply

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HANOI/BANDAR LAMPUNG, INDONESIA — Domestic coffee prices in Vietnam edged higher this week on scarce supply, while trading activities in Indonesia remained sluggish, traders said on Thursday.

Farmers in the Central Highlands, Vietnam’s largest coffee-growing area, sold coffee at 32,000 dong ($1.38) per kg, up from 31,500 dong last week.

Coffee shipments from Vietnam were estimated at 150,000 tonnes in February, slightly higher than last month’s 145,000 tonnes, traders said. However, exports would be lower in the next two months.

“We are struggling to buy beans for the upcoming deliveries,” said a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Farmers are not willing to sell at current prices but we couldn’t offer higher given the low London prices and the coronavirus epidemic that has shaken global markets.”

May robusta coffee settled up $22, or 1.73%, at $1,295 per tonne on Wednesday.

“Prices have been exceptionally low, staying below $1,400 per tonne for nearly three months,” said another trader based in the Central Highlands.

Traders in Vietnam offered 5% black and broken grade 2 robusta at a premium of $130 per tonne to the May contract on Thursday, compared with $125 last week.

Meanwhile, traders in Indonesia’s Lampung province said Sumatran robusta was offered at a $350 premium to the May contract this week and a $250-$270 premium to the July to December contracts. That compared with a $340–$400 premium offered last week for the May contract.

Traders in Sumatra island are still waiting for coffee harvest. — Reuters