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Asia Coffee: Indonesia picks up ahead of mini-harvest, Vietnam moves to May contract

HANOI (Reuters) – Indonesian coffee premiums picked up slightly ahead of a mini- harvest due in March, while a moderate Vietnamese market moved over to the May contract, traders said on Thursday.

Indonesia’s grade 4 defect 80 robusta  traded at a $170 premium to the London March contract this week, compared to a $160 premium that has lasted for the past month amid depleting stock, a trader said.

Transactions were scanty, but inquiries have started to pick up ahead of a mini-harvest in Indonesia around March, pushing the premium up slightly, a trader said.

In Vietnam, the world’s second biggest coffee exporter after Brazil, trading was moderate as demand from importers was not too strong while prices have been fairly stable and yet attractive enough for farmers to sell.

Vietnamese farmers in coffee-growing Daklak province quoted coffee beans <COFVN-DAK> at 37,200-37,400 dong ($1.64-$1.65) per kg, compared to a range of 37,100-37,500 dong a week ago, traders said.

Farmers have been releasing beans of the new crop to get cash for shopping ahead of the country’s biggest holiday and also the traditional new year due in mid-February.

However, the prices are not attractive enough for farmers to push out a large quantity of beans. Last year local prices had hit a 5-1/2-year high at 47,650 dong a kg and farmers are hoping for a return to those levels.

“Farmers do want to sell, but they are still dreaming the old price dream,” said independent analyst Nguyen Quang Binh.

The 5-percent black and broken grade 2 robusta  was traded around a discount of $50-$100 per ton to the ICE May futures contract, compared with a discount of $50 per ton to the March contract a week ago, traders said.

Only a few contracts were secured due to gaps in offers by importers and exporters.

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