Volcafe says Vietnam's coffee harvest is ending on good weather

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Coffee harvesting in Vietnam, the world's largest producer of the robusta variety, is ending as good weather helped pickings, according to Volcafe, the coffee unit of commodities trader ED&F Man Holdings Ltd.

Vietnam's 2012-13 season started in October and output is forecast to be 25 million bags, according to the US Department of Agriculture. That is the second-biggest crop after 26 million bags were harvested in 2011-12, USDA data showed. A bag of coffee usually weighs 132 pounds.

The "weather remains sunny in the central highlands and harvest has more or less finished due to the good weather," Volcafe said in a weekly report e-mailed today.

Buyers of Vietnamese coffee for January and February shipments were paying a premium of $20 a metric ton to the price on the NYSE Liffe exchange in London, the Winterthur, Switzerland-based trader said. That is up from the same price as on the exchange last week, according to the report.

"Farmers are well-capitalized and only release coffee when local prices suit them," Volcafe said. "This week, with lower Liffe market, business came to a standstill again, only to resume at the end of the week when Liffe improved."

Vietnam's coffee growers are waiting for local prices to climb to 40,000 dong ($1.92) a kilogram before selling, Amsterdam-based trader Nedcoffee BV said in a report on Dec. 17. Prices were at 37,900 dong a kilogram today, according to data from the Daklak Trade & Tourism Center on Bloomberg.

Robusta coffee futures on NYSE Liffe fell as much as 1.9 percent on Dec. 17, and erased the decline the next three days. The commodity is up 0.3 percent this week.

In Indonesia, the third-biggest robusta producer, most exporters have stopped buying beans, Volcafe said. Indonesian coffee for January and February shipments was at a premium of $150 a ton to the exchange price, unchanged from last week.

In India, beans were trading at "expensive internal prices," Volcafe said, adding that it expected values to fall when beans start flowing at about March.

Robusta coffee for March delivery retreated 0.5 percent to $1,878 a ton by 12:16 p.m. in London.

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