Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Vietnam cuts coffee harvest estimate on poor weather

Date : 05/03/2009

Vietnam, the world’s second-largest coffee producer, may harvest 16 million bags this year, about 6 percent less than initially forecast after poor weather trimmed the size of beans, according to a producers’ group.

“Bad weather at the start of the crop has considerably raised the proportion of small beans,” Luong Van Tu, chairman of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association, said today. The association in December had forecast a crop of 17 million bags in the year to Sept. 30. A bag weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

A smaller-than-expected 2008/09 crop may help to arrest a drop in robusta prices, which have declined by about 45 percent over the past year. The nation’s crop was estimated at 20 million bags in January, according to a forecast from Belgian bank Fortis.

“Bad weather did have an impact on the beans but probably not that much, at least in our growing area,” said Nguyen Xuan Thai, a director of Dak Lak-based Thang Loi Coffee Co., the country’s largest grower. Dak Lak is Vietnam’s main region for cultivating the crop.

Robusta coffee for May delivery gained as much as 0.5 percent to $1,512 a metric ton today, snapping a five-day losing streak that had left the 10-ton contract at its lowest since it started trade on London’s Liffe exchange in January 2008.
‘Black Beans’

“We’ve also had to reject more black beans that were caused by rains during the picking and drying period,” Tu said in a telephone interview from Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital. Black beans are of low quality and don’t meet standards for international shipment; most are discarded.

Two weeks of prolonged rains last year interrupted the harvest, according to traders including Nguyen Ngoc Thu in Ho Chi Minh City for Madrid-based Icona Cafe, which is among the 10 biggest importers of Vietnamese produce. The rains delayed the picking of berries and hampered drying, they said.

Vietnam’s 2008/09 crop might have been lower than 19.5 million bags due to the heavy rains, smaller beans and an increase in the quantity of black beans, Hong Kong-based SW Commodities said in a March 2 note. F.O. Licht has estimated the crop at 20 million bags, up from 18 million a year earlier.

“About 50 percent of the crop has been sold so far,” said Hua Thanh Hong, the business manager at the Sept. 2nd Import- Export Co.

Source: Bloomberg - By Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen

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Mr Pham Van Cong,The Head of Mission and Commercial Counsellor of Vietnam Trade Office in Nigeria,Mr Okoye O. Pius - Ceo, Piskoye Nig. Ltd, Mr Kingsley Chikezie,Sec. Gen., Importers Association of Nigeria And other members at a One day Importers Forum In Lagos.

Cross Section of Attendees Including Mr Pham Van Cong, Mr Okoye O. Pius at a One day Importers Forum organized by CBN's, Technical Committee on the Comprehensive Import supervision Scheme (CISS) in Lagos Nigeria