Seven executives of Vietnam Coffee Corp (Vinacafe) are learning the elements of coffee futures in preparation for when the corporation’s members begin joining the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange later this year.
For five weeks, the classmates for two days a week are Vinacafe’s director, one deputy director, the sales manager of Tay Nguyen Investment and Coffee Export Co., and executives from la Sao Coffee Co and some Vinacafe branches.
Experts from the Swiss organisation Noble are teaching the classes in Buon Ma Thuot, the capital of Dak Lak, Vietnam’ stop coffee growing province.
The training is part of a UK funded shake-up of three state corporations from 2003 to 2005, the other two being Vietnam National Sea Products (Seaprodex) and Vietnam National Textile and Garment (Vinatex).
“After the course, Vinacafe will select some of its corporate members to join the London exchange, and will increase the number later,” says Vinacafe acting sales manager Do Duc Hung.
“In turn, they will share their experiences and the knowledge gained, the tricks of the trade as it were, with Vietnamese coffee exporters who are not members of Vinacafe.”
The chair of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association, Van Thanh Huy, says a few of his organisation’s more than 100 members are ready for the futures market, but only a few. Technically speaking, futures are contracts for supplying commodities, manufactured goods, currencies or securities at an agreed future date and for a price fixed in advance.
More often than not, far more often than not, they are a speculator’s delight or ruin, not to mention the hefty commissions pocketed by futures traders.