Vietnam's Robusta prices
Robusta coffee futures climbed for a sixth session in London as farmers in Vietnam, the biggest grower of the bitter-tasting beans used in instant coffee, delayed sales to buoy prices during the new year holiday in the country.
"We may have some of the Vietnamese farmers holding back beans in the hope that prices will go up just ahead of the new year," Elizabeth Miller, research director at RedTower, said. The start of the Tet Lunar New Year festival in mid-February will curtail exports, she said.
Vietnam, the second-biggest coffee producer after Brazil, expects bean shipments to rise 85 percent to 150,000 metric tons, compared with January 2006, according to preliminary estimates from the General Statistics Office in Hanoi.
Coffee futures for March gained $30 to $1,615 a metric ton in London. Earlier, they climbed as high as $1,663, a level that has not been reached since February 1999.
"There wasn't initially much roaster demand, but the speculative buying continues despite the weight of Vietnamese selling," Richard Hill, a coffee trader at Sucden (U.K), said.
Robusta exports from January through November 2006 rose 3.7 percent to 82.92 million bags, from 79.98 million a year earlier, the International Coffee Organization said Jan. 15.
Global production in the 2007 to 2008 period will be 109 million to 112 million bags, less than demand of 118 million to 120 million bags, the International Coffee Organization in London said.
Elsewhere, gold futures for April delivery rose $7.70 to $657.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on speculation that the dollar would weaken against the euro, enhancing the appeal of gold as an alternative investment.