Vietnam March coffee exports seen falling

10:21 | 02/04/2019 Trade

Vietnam’s coffee exports in March are estimated to fall 28.8 - 33.5 percent from a year earlier to 140,000-150,000, traders said last week.

A woman dries coffee beans on a road in Vietnam's northern province of Son La province - Photo: Reuters

“Sales are slowing due to low prices, while many buyers are turning to buy from Brazil, where prices are even lower partly due to the recent weakening of the real,” a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader said.

Customs data released earlier this month showed Vietnam’s coffee shipments in the first half of March totalled 83,120 tonnes, compared with 99,585 tonnes in the same period last year.

Farmers in the Central Highlands sold coffee at 32,000-33,100 dong ($1.38-$1.43) per kg on Thursday, narrowing from a range of 31,900-33,300 dong last week.

Globally, coffee growers are being forced into poverty by low international prices for the crop, farmers’ representatives said at an international recent conference in Bogota, warning the future of the industry is at risk.

Traders in Vietnam offered 5 percent black and broken grade 2 robusta at a $30-$50 per tonne discount to the July contract. They recently offered a $55-$60 discount to May contract.

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, activity remained muted this week on lacklustre demand from buyers, despite supplies from a mini harvest there.

Premium for the grade 4 defect 80 robusta was steady at $70-$80 to the May contract, a trader in Sumatra’s Lampung province said.

May robusta coffee settled down $6, or 0.4 percent, at $1,504 per tonne.

Theo Tuoitrenews/Reuters