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Asia Coffee-Vietnam prices inch higher on scarce supplies

By Phuong Nguyen and Mas Alina Arifin

HANOI/BANDAR LAMPUNG, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Vietnam’s domestic coffee prices edged higher this week on low supplies, but traders said domestic prices would not rise further as the new harvest season would begin soon.

Farmers in the Central Highlands, Vietnam’s largest coffee growing area, sold coffee at 34,600 dong ($1.49) per kg <COFVN-DAK>, up from 33,300 dong a week earlier.

“Prices have edged up slightly because the inventory has run almost empty, while many exporters still need beans for their signed contracts,” a trader based in the province of Dak Lak said, adding farmers were not keen to sell below 34,000 dong per kg.

But domestic prices were not likely to climb further ahead of the 2019/20 harvest that begins in October, he added.

Traders in Vietnam offered the 5% black and broken grade 2 robusta <COFVN-G25-SAI> at a $130 premium per tonne to the September contract.

Vietnam’s coffee shipments in July were estimated at 165,000 tonnes, up 22.6% from a year earlier, official data showed.

Lampung’s trade office said on Thursday coffee exports in July tripled from a month earlier due to the ongoing harvest, but shipments were 47% lower compared to the same month last year.

Indonesian robusta in Sumatran province of Lampung were offered with widened range of $150-$200 premium to September contract, compared to $150 premium last week, traders in Bandar Lampung said.

($1 = 23,200 dong) (Reporting by Phuong Nguyen in HANOI and Mas Alina Arifin in BANDAR LAMPUNG Editing by Edmund Blair)

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