Declining Harvest Hikes Vietnamese Prices

Unroasted Robusta Coffee beans. Credit: FcRebelo

Unroasted Robusta Coffee beans. Credit: FcRebelo

Coffee farmers in Vietnam are curbing sales prior to the Lunar New Year with the aim of securing higher prices for a sparse harvest.

The country is the leading supplier of robusta beans in the world and this move will affect companies such as Nestle SA.

Growers sold 29 percent of the crop by the end of January, compared with 36 percent a year earlier and a five-year average of 40 percent, according to the median of 12 trader estimates compiled by Bloomberg last week. Output in the 12 months starting October 1 will drop 7 percent to 1.6 million metric tons from a record the previous year, the survey shows.

Smaller crops in Vietnam, Brazil, and Indonesia may push up London futures by 20 percent to $2,300 a ton in the second quarter, a level last seen in 2011, according to Rabobank International. Brazil is the top grower of arabica and ranks second for robusta followed by Indonesia. Exports from Vietnam in January were the lowest for the month in three years.


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