Brazilian rains jolt coffee market, slow Vietnam harvest

(VOV) - Coffee futures in London lost ground on October 16-17 with prices of robusta coffee falling US$42 per metric ton on forecasts of rains producing an abundant upcoming harvest in top producer Brazil.

On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in New York robusta futures contracts ended the week down 1.2% at US$1,600 per metric ton.

On the ICE New York futures transaction floor, the price of Arabica coffee dropped by US$175 per metric ton in just one day.

For ICE January tracking, Vietnamese robusta fell to US$1,570-US$1,600 (VND35,100,000-35,800,000) per metric ton in Dak Lak, the country's biggest growing province, down from US$1,610-US$1,620 (VND36,000,000-36,200,000) a week ago.

"Low prices are driving many Vietnamese farmers to delay the start of the fall harvest." said a grower in Dak Lak's district of Cu M'gar, “as they won’t end up with much to show for it.”

Exporters sought to sell Vietnamese robusta grade 2, 5% black and broken at a premium of US$40 a metric ton to the January contact this week for loading in December, against premiums of US$30-US$40 a metric ton last Tuesday.

Trading has slowed because of the latest price drops, but recent sales could boost Vietnam's coffee exports next month, a Vietnamese trader at a European company in Ho Chi Minh City said.

The trader added that most of the coffee being loaded this month and in November will still come from the 2014/2015 crop that ended in September.

Coffee is Vietnam's second-biggest commodity among agricultural produce after shrimp and fish.

The bitter beans, used mostly for making soluble coffee, brought in US$3.55 billion last year while revenues in the first nine months of this year totalled nearly US$2 billion.

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