April 18, 2019 / 9:25 AM / 2 months ago

Asia Coffee: Low prices in Vietnam, elections in Indonesia slow trade

HANOI/BANDAR LAMPUNG (Reuters) - Coffee trading has been slow this week in Vietnam due to weak prices, while elections in Indonesia saw traders keep to the sidelines.

A woman places coffee beans into a machine to sort the beans by size at a coffee factory in Hanoi, Vietnam September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Kham

Farmers in Vietnam’s Central Highlands sold coffee at 30,500-31,400 dong ($1.35)($1.31-$1.35) per kg on Thursday, compared with 30,900-31,800 dong last week.

“Prices have been so low because of strong sales from Brazil, whose currency has weakened significantly against the U.S. dollar, prompting sales of dollar-denominated commodities,” said a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Farmers in Vietnam are reluctant to sell at such low prices,” the trader said.

Traders in Vietnam offered 5 percent black and broken grade 2 robusta at a $45 per tonne discount to the July contract, compared with a $60 discount last week.

July robusta coffee settled down $19, or 1.3 percent, at $1,412 per tonne on Wednesday.

In Indonesia, trading has slowed due to the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Premiums for the grade 4 defect 80 robusta rose to $150-$160 to the May contract on Thursday from $150 a week ago, a trader based in Lampung said.

“Beans are still quite expensive since trades were dominated by big local buyers,” the trader added.

Another trader said premiums were steady at $100-$110 to the July contract.

($1 = 23,201 dong)

Reporting by Khanh Vu and Mas Alina Arifin; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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