Robusta coffee falls as Vietnam sales increase; cocoa retreats

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Robusta coffee on Tuesday fell for a third day in London on speculation supplies will improve after last month's prices rally spurred sales from Vietnam, the world's largest producer of the variety. Cocoa and sugar slid.

Vietnam's coffee exports rose 80 percent from a month earlier to 202,055 metric tons in February, according to the General Customs Department website. Robusta coffee rallied 9.4 percent last month as farmers in the Southeast Asian nation held onto beans awaiting higher prices. Vietnamese growers had sold 50 percent to 55 percent of the crop, Volcafe, the coffee unit of commodities trader ED&F Man Holdings Ltd., said in a report on March 2.

"Continued expectations of supply remaining to be sold domestically in Vietnam, as well as anticipation of more robusta selling from Brazil and Indonesia, will keep pressure on this market in the short term," Keith Flury, an analyst at Rabobank International in London, said Tuesday by e-mail.

Robusta coffee for May delivery fell 0.7 percent to $1,972 a metric ton by 10:57 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. Arabica coffee for May delivery was up 0.2 percent to $1.853 a pound on ICE Futures US in New York.

The crop in Indonesia, the world's third-largest producer of robusta beans, may be as much as 11 million bags in the 2012-13 season starting in April there, according to the Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute.

Brazil production

Brazil, the second-biggest grower of robusta beans, will produce 16.5 million bags in 2012-13 season, Terra Forte Exportacao e Importacao de Cafe Ltda., estimated on Feb. 23. That compares with 14.3 million bags in 2011-12, the company said. Terra Forte was Brazil's second-biggest exporter last year, according to Rio de Janeiro-based broker Flavour Coffee. The season in Brazil usually starts in July.

White, or refined, sugar for May delivery was down 0.4 percent at $629.20 a ton on NYSE Liffe. Raw sugar for May delivery retreated 0.1 percent to 23.74 cents a pound on ICE.

Cocoa for May delivery fell 1.1 percent to 1,531 pounds ($2,396) a ton in London. Cocoa for May delivery slid 0.8 percent to $2,365 a ton in New York.

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