Exports of all varieties are likely to top 1.8 million metric tons, according to Do Ha Nam, the chief executive officer of Intimex Group, the largest shipper in the country. Nam is also vice head of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association, the main industry grouping in the world’s largest robusta grower.

“The world market has consumed all the coffee shipments from Vietnam,” Nam said in an interview. “Supplies have been insufficient to meet demand.”

Coffee Craving

Vietnam's exports are forecast to hit a record

Global consumption of robusta, mainly used by companies including Nestle SA to make instant coffee, is forecast to climb to a record this season, supported by growing demand for the instant variety in developing markets. That’s good news for farmers in Vietnam, who enjoyed a 10 percent jump in local prices in October as global benchmark futures rebounded.

To feed that demand, Intimex this year added three robusta processing plants with a combined capacity of 180,000 tons, bringing its total capacity to 750,000 tons, Nam said last week. The company expects its overseas sales to grow 20 percent to an all-time high of 510,000 tons this year. As well as being an exporter, Vietnam imports beans for re-export and for domestic use.

Harvest Progress

Vietnam’s production in the 2018-19 year that started last month may climb just over 2 percent to 1.83 million tons assuming normal weather, according to the median estimate of 14 traders surveyed by Bloomberg. That compares with 1.82 million in a previous survey, and a 1.8 million ton forecast by Intimex and Simexco Dak Lak, the second-largest exporter. The country’s agriculture ministry in July said production would surpass 1.8 million tons.

Harvesting began in Dak Nong in late October. Other key areas, including the coffee “capital” Dak Lak, will start collecting beans around the middle of November, RCMA Asia Pte said in an emailed report.

RCMA expects a slight reduction in the estimated record crop triggered by fungus diseases mainly in Dak Nong and unusual cherry droppings in Gia Lai. The group earlier projected that 2018-19 season output would rise to 1.92 million tons. It sees exports at a record 1.76 million tons this season.

By Mai Ngoc Chau - Bloomberg - November 7, 2018