Coffee prices in Asia were little changed in the week to Friday, with stagnant trading in the world’s largest robusta exporter, Vietnam, as buyers turned away from black beans, traders said.
Cash discounts in Vietnam were little changed at US$120 a metric tonne against the Euronext.liffe May robusta contract, which rose slightly to settle at US$1,572/tonne Thursday from US$1,565/tonne a week ago.
“There is no business, no buyers -they have probably turned to Indonesia, given the quality problems,” said an executive at a large trading house in Vietnam.
Traders said the unseasonal rains earlier had damaged the quality of coffee beans, resulting in more black beans this year than usual.
Meanwhile, farmers in Vietnam continued to hold on to their stocks.
“They are smart. They know the economy has problems, and they know the currency may depreciate more, so they think holding the beans at the moment might be wiser, as they can probably get better prices later on,” said a trader in Singapore. “After all, they are not short of cash.”
Vietnam’s exports in the crop year, which started October, rose 16.2% on year to 659,000 tonnes, or 10.98 million 60-kilogram bags, according to data provided by the general Statistical Office Tuesday.
In Indonesia, which is the world’s fourth-largest coffee producer, the new harvest has just begun, and traders said the total output this year is likely to remain steady on year.
In India too, coffee prices remained steady.
Arabica plantation grade A prices were quoted around US$3,400/tonne, but traders said actual transactions were few, given the fall in output this year.
Robusta cherry AB crop prices were around US$1,650/tonne, unchanged from last week.