New-crop beans from second-largest producer Indonesia were sold at premiums of up to $100 to London futures.

The beans are either priced against London's May or July contracts, depending on the period of delivery.

Although moisture content was high at 25 percent from a normal 13 percent due to persistent rains, Indonesian beans fetched hefty premiums, compared with Vietnamese robustas that were offered at $40 above London futures from as little as $10 two weeks ago.

Premiums for robusta grade 2, 5 percent black and broken robustas were last quoted at $10 to $20 above London's March contract in mid-January before the local markets were shut for Tet, Vietnam's biggest festival to mark the Lunar New Year.

Vietnam plans to export 1.2 million tonnes, or 20 million bags, of coffee this year, down 4 percent from the amount shipped in 2011.

Reuters - February 6, 2012

Vietnamese coffee sales reached about 40pct of crop

Coffee farmers in Vietnam, the world's largest producer of the robusta variety, have sold about 40 percent of the crop ending September 30, according to Volcafe, the coffee unit of commodities trader ED&F Man Holdings Ltd

Growers in the Southeast Asian nation had been holding back beans before the Tet festival, which marks the Lunar New Year, awaiting better prices. Vietnam's coffee exports may increase this month as good weather helps beans to dry and the holiday ends, said traders and officials. The sales pace may slow after February as farmers wait for price direction, said Le Tien Hung, deputy director of September 2nd Import-Export Co., known as Simexco, based in Dak Lak the biggest growing province.

"Liffe and disciplined farmer selling prevented a sell-off in Vietnam," Volcafe said in a report e-mailed to clients today. "External demand is good for all qualities."

Vietnamese coffee for shipment in March and April was at a premium of $20 a metric tonne to the price on the NYSE Liffe exchange in London, down from $40 a tonne last week, data from the Winterthur, Switzerland-based trader show.

Indonesian imports of Vietnamese beans are "picking up to satisfy the local roaster demand," according to the report. Output in the third-largest robusta grower fell to 8.3 million bags of 60 kilograms (132 pounds) in the 2011-12 season from 9.3 million bags a year earlier after rains damaged the crop, data from the US Department of Agriculture show.

Indonesia is the fourth biggest importer of Vietnamese coffee, Volcafe said in the report.

Robusta coffee for March delivery rose 1.8 percent to $1,833 a tonne by 1:53 p.m. in London.

Bloomberg - February 6, 2012