I. & M. Smith (Pty) Ltd. since 1915


I. & M. Smith (Pty) Ltd.

Coffee Market Report

28 Apr 2017

Contrary to the forecasts at the beginning of the month on the part of the private trade within Vietnam that April coffee exports would be between 1.7 million and 2.2 million bags, the Agricultural Ministry in Vietnam and with the month almost over, have estimated that coffee exports for the month shall prove to be closer to 2.8 million bags. However, with the dip in the reference prices of the London robusta coffee market over the past week, there is evidence of internal market farm and internal trade price resistance and with this influencing a firming of the asking export differentials, on the part of the Vietnam exporters.

West Africa’s leading robusta coffee producer the Ivory Coast has reported that the countries coffee exports for the month of March were 76,000 bags or 69.86% lower than the same month last year, at a total of 32,783 bags. This has contributed to the countries cumulative coffee exports for the first three months of this year to be 131,100 bags or 48.17% lower than the same period last year, at a total of 141,083 bags.

The Coffee Board of India have reported that the countries coffee exports for the first sixteen and half weeks of this year up to the 25th. April, were 2% lower than the same period last year, at a total of 2,084,550 bags. While with the dip in value of the reference prices of the international terminal markets and the prevailing lacklustre consumer market demand, the trade in India expect that coffee exports shall remain relatively modest for the coming weeks.

Most of the major consumer market players with the exception of the U.S.A. and likewise all the major producers and including Brazil, Vietnam, the Central Americans, Colombia, Indonesia and India are now looking towards the May Day long weekend, with Monday a holiday and one would think that physical coffee trade shall be slow for today. While in terms of this holiday and with the London market closed on Monday, the New York arabica coffee market shall trade for a shortened day on Monday.

Meanwhile and aside from export data from individual producers from time to time, the coffee markets are presently devoid of any striking fundamental news reports. This in terms of the lack of threatening to longer term coffee supply and the adage of no news is good news, is tending to underpin the prevailing lack of speculative confidence and support within the coffee terminal markets. But it shall be interesting to see in the coming days, how far short the Managed Money Funds and the Speculative sector of the New York markets have gone within this market. While might be a factor that could come to the fore, to somewhat stabilise the market for trade next week.

The July to July contracts arbitrage between the London and New York markets narrowed yesterday, to register this at 42.86 usc/Lb., while this equates to 33.10% price discount for the London robusta coffee market. This still relatively low arbitrage remains not such an attractive factor for the many price sensitive roast and ground roasters who have considered robusta coffees to be an opportunist discount component, within their mostly arabica coffee blends.

The Certified washed Arabica coffee stocks held against the New York exchange were seen to decrease by 241 bags yesterday; to register these stocks at 1,408,090 bags. There was meanwhile a larger in number 4,462 bags decrease to the number of bags pending grading for this exchange; to register these pending grading stocks at 18,560 bags.

The commodity markets were mixed but overall softer in trade yesterday and with the U.S. dollar relatively steady for the day, to see the overall macro commodity index taking a softer track for the day. The Wheat, Corn, Soybean and Gold markets had a day of buoyancy, while the Oil, Natural Gas, Sugar, Cocoa, Coffee, Cotton, Copper, Orange Juice and Silver markets had a softer day’s trade. The Reuters Equal Weight Continuous Commodity Index that is made up from 17 markets is 0.13% lower, to see this Index registered at 407.92. The day starts with the U.S. Dollar steady and trading at 1.290 to Sterling and at 1.086 to the Euro, while North Sea Oil is steady and is showing a degree of buoyancy and is selling at $ 50.90 per barrel.

The London market started the day yesterday on a marginally softer note, while the New York market started the day with modest buoyancy and with the London market soon recovering back to par. The buoyancy for the New York market was however short lived and both markets soon slipped back into negative territory for the early afternoon trade, to see the London market move into modest negative territory, while the New York market suffered from more substantial losses. Both markets then proceeded to take something of a sideways track for the rest of the day, albeit that there was some degree of buoyancy seen at the lows of the day.

The London market ended the on a negative note but with 79.2% of the earlier losses of the day intact, while the New York market ended the day on a likewise negative note and with 58.5% of the earlier losses of the day intact. This close and with the technical picture for the markets looking negative does little to inspire confidence, but one might think that there might be some degree of speculative exhaustion coming into play and another steady start due for early trade today against the prices set yesterday, as follows:


MAY 1878 – 20                                               MAY 127.10 – 1.05
JUL 1910 – 19                                                   JUL 129.50 – 1.20
SEP 1925 – 19                                                   SEP 131.90 – 1.20
NOV 1932 – 19                                                DEC 135.45 – 1.25
JAN 1936 – 18                                                MAR 138.90 – 1.20
MAR 1938 – 17                                               MAY 141.10 – 1.15
MAY 1943 – 15                                                 JUL 143.20 – 1.10
JUL 1950 – 15                                                   SEP 145.15 – 1.10
SEP 1958 – 15                                                  DEC 147.45 – 1.25
NOV 1965 – 15                                               MAR 149.70 – 1.30