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Coffee prices hit four-month high in August: ICO

Coffee bagsThe International Coffee Organization’s (ICO) composite indicator price climbed to 135.23 US cents per pound on 8 August, a four‐month high.

Subsequently, coffee prices weakened significantly with the daily price falling to 122.59 US cents per pound on 24 August.

The last week of the month was characterised by a sideward move as the indicator price closed on 31 August only marginally higher at 123.45 US cents per pound. As a result of these movements, the monthly average of the ICO composite indicator price rose by 0.8 per cent to 128.24 US cents per pound.

The ICO group indicators showed opposite trends in August. While fluctuating extensively, all three Arabica groups registered increases as the average prices for Colombian Milds, Other Milds and Brazilian Naturals were up 1.7 per cent, 0.1 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively. Conversely, Robusta showed less variation but instead followed a steady downward trend. As a result, the monthly average for the Robusta group was 1.9 per cent lower than in July.

The average arbitrage in August, as measured on the New York and London futures markets, increased further by 8.9 per cent to 43.22 US cents per pound. Meanwhile intra‐ day volatility of the ICO composite indicator price decreased by 0.9 percentage points to 6.6 per cent.

Export activity in July remained at a very high level, the report. Shipments amounted to 9.4 million bags, 11 per cent more than in July 2016. During the first ten months of coffee year 2016/17 total exports surpassed the 100 million bag mark and were 5.7 million bags higher than last year when 96.3 million bags were shipped.

A detailed examination of the export data for major producing countries, however, shows a heterogeneous picture. In Brazil, exports in the month of July were 11 per cent lower compared to last year. In total, Brazil exported 1.75 million bags, of which 1.5 million bags were green coffee. Arabica coffee comprised 98.9 per cent of all green coffee shipments. This is the lowest level of exports recorded since February 2004 and results from a combination of the previously poor harvest and an unfavourable USD exchange rate eroding the competitiveness of Brazilian coffee on the world market. In Vietnam, the second largest producer, shipments in July were estimated to have reached 1.55 million bags, 29.6 per cent lower than the previous year. Cumulative exports for the first 10 months of coffee year 2016/17, however, were only 5.4 per cent lower compared to last year.

In Colombia on the other hand, significant increases in exports were recorded. Volumes shipped during the month of July have doubled compared to last year. However, it should be noted that 12 months ago, Colombia’s trade was disrupted by a truckers’ strike, leading to unexpectedly low exports. Nevertheless, the recent figures represent a continuation of this coffee year’s strong export performance as Colombia’s shipments amounted to 11.2 million bags since October 2016, up 11.6 per cent compared to the same period during the previous coffee year.

Lastly, monthly exports from Indonesia are reported to have increased from just over 400,000 bags to more than 1,240,000 bags. The increase is mainly due to higher green Robusta shipments (up 115.1 per cent) and also to higher exports of Arabica (43.6 per cent). Cumulative exports for the period October 2016 to July 2017 amounted to 6.5 million bags, up by 38 per cent compared to the previous year.

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