Coffee prices slightly down in Vietnam, volatile in Indonesia

INDONESIA: Coffee prices in Vietnam edged down slightly this week tracking global prices as harvest started in Brazil, but prices in Indonesia were unexpectedly volatile, traders said on Thursday.

Farmers in the central highlands, Vietnam’s largest coffee-growing area, were selling beans for 120,000-121,000 dong ($4.72-$4.76), slightly lower than last week’s 123,500-125,000 dong.

Robusta coffee for September delivery shed $152 in a week, settling at $4,142 per metric ton as of Wednesday’s close.

“Prices were down slightly as harvest has started in Brazil that can ease the thirst for beans now,” a trader based in the coffee belt said.

“However poor coffee exports from Vietnam in May kept prices from falling further.”

Vietnam exported 79,358 metric tons of coffee or 1.32 million 60-kg bags in May, a decrease of 47.8% from the previous month, customs data showed. Traders had expected May’s exports to be around 1.58 million 60-kg bags.In the first five months of this year, Vietnam exported 817,514 metric tons, down 5.8% from a year earlier, according to customs data.Another trader based in the coffee belt said the market was tepid with many turning to trade peppers instead.

“Some traders have turned to Indonesia for beans but not many due to high prices and different quality while some are trading peppers,” the trader said.

Traders offered 5% black and broken-grade 2 robusta at a premium of $600-$700 per ton to the September contract.

In Indonesia, Sumatra robusta beans for July deliveries were offered at $1,050 premium this week, down from $1,350 last week, one trader said.

Another trader quoted $980 premium to the September contract, up from $650 premium a week ago.

“That the prices are very volatile surprises us,” the second trader said.


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