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Coffee prices slip in February

According to the International Coffee Organization (ICO) February 2019 market report, the ICO composite indicator fell by 0.9 per cent to 100.67 US cents per pound, similar to levels in December 2018.

This is slightly higher than the lowest monthly average of 100.61 US cents per pound reached in coffee year 2018/19 for December 2018. However, it is 27.5 per cent below the 10-year average of 138.84 US cents per pound.

Following an increase in January 2019, the daily composite indicator started above 100 US cents per pound, averaging 103.32 US cents per pound in the first week.

However, prices declined during the remainder of the month, reaching a low of 97.44 US cents per pound on 26 February.

The ICO attributes sustained growth in exports during the first four months of coffee year 2018/19, compared to last year, and prospects of a large off-year crop from Brazil for crop year 2019/20 to the low prices this coffee year.

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Price movements for individual group indicators diverged in February 2019. Brazilian Naturals and Colombian Milds registered decreases in February, by 2.8 per cent to 100.06 US cents per pound, and one per cent to 127.93 US cents per pound, respectively.

Other Milds remained unchanged, and Robusta prices increased 0.5 per cent to 78.65 US cents per pound.

In January 2019, world coffee exports amounted to 11.06 million bags, or 184,314 metric tonnes, 2.6 per cent higher than in January 2018.

Shipments in the first four months of coffee year 2018/19 increased by 6.6 per cent to 41.96 million bags, reflecting the ample supply of coffee on the international market.

Exports of all types, except for Other Milds, increased in comparison to the first four months of 2017/18. The ICO says the difference in the availability of Colombian Mild coffee to Other Milds has resulted in a negative differential of 0.52 US cents per pound for February.

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