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Coffee market ends 2016/17 coffee year in deficit

From the October 2017 issue.

Beans into cupCoffee prices in September continued the downward trend from the end of August through the first week, reaching 120.71 US cents per pound on 6 September.

The International Coffee Organization’s (ICO) composite indicator price then climbed to 128.95 US cents per pound on 18 September. On the following day, coffee prices fell by 2.83 US cents per pound before recovering to 128.01 US cents per pound on 20 September. Subsequently, coffee prices declined over the next week and a half with the daily price falling to 121.40 US cents per pound on 28 September. As a result of these movements, the average of the ICO composite indicator price fell by 2.9 per cent to 124.46 US cents per pound.

The group indicators all showed declining trends in September despite a small rise in the middle of the month. All three Arabica groups registered decreases as the average prices for Colombian Milds, Other Milds and Brazilian Naturals fell 2.4 per cent, 2.2 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively.

Compared to the Arabica groups, Robusta declined much more significantly in the first week, but did not rise much later in the month. As a result, the monthly average for the Robusta group was 5.1 per cent lower than in August. The average arbitrage in September, as measured on the New York and London futures markets, increased further by 7 per cent to 46.26 US cents per pound. Meanwhile intra‐day volatility of the ICO composite indicator price decreased by 0.3 percentage points to 6.3 per cent.

After two months of decrease, global exports in August remained stable at 9.9 million bags, but were 8.4 per cent less than in August 2016. However, the volume of exports during the first eleven months of coffee year 2016/17 increased by 5.8 per cent to 113.3 million bags, which is 6.2 million bags higher than during the same period one year ago, when 107.1 million bags were shipped. Shipments of Arabica coffee during the first eleven months of coffee year 2016/17 increased by 9 per cent compared to the same period last year, reaching 71.7 million bags, while shipments of Robusta increased by 0.8 per cent to 41.6 million bags. Global coffee production in 2016/17 is currently estimated at 153.9 million bags, a 1.5 per cent increase on 2015/16. Arabica production is up by 10.2 per cent to 97.3 million bags, while Robustas are estimated down 10.6 per cent to 56.6 million bags.

In Brazil, production for 2016/17 is estimated at 55 million bags, up 9.2 per cent compared to the previous year, due to partial recovery from drought in the preceding two years, particularly for Arabica. Despite the larger exportable surplus, exports from Brazil during the first eleven months of 2016/17 declined by 7.3 per cent to 29.3 million bags. Given that domestic consumption has remained stable at 20.5 million bags, Brazil’s stocks will increase slightly by 1.03 million bags. Dry weather in August 2017 could potentially reduce yields and production in 2017/18, particularly for newer trees. Production in Vietnam declined by 11.3 per cent to 25.5 million bags due to dry weather at the beginning of the year followed by rains during harvesting. As a result of the smaller exportable surplus, shipments from Vietnam declined by 3.4 per cent to 23.5 million bags in the first eleven months of 2016/17 compared to the same period last season. Vietnam’s production growth may slow in the next few years due to low coffee prices and competition from other more lucrative crops.

Colombia has ended 2016/17 with a total production of 14.5 million bags, its highest volume since 1992/93 and the fifth consecutive season of growth. Exports from Colombia rebounded by 9.6 per cent to 12.4 million bags in the first eleven months of 2016/17, following an unusually low volume of shipments due to a truck drivers’ strike in the previous season. The 2017/18 crop in Colombia may be affected by the potential development of a weak La Niña and cloudiness during the flowering period. Following a 7.9 per cent increase in 2015/16, Indonesian production decreased by 6.7 per cent to 11.5 million bags in 2016/17 due to adverse weather conditions earlier in the year. Shipments from Indonesia increased significantly in the first eleven months of 2016/17, reaching 9.8 million bags, up by 78.9 per cent compared to the same period in 2015/16. The increase in Indonesia’s exports has helped to cover shortages this season in the largest producers.

Despite increases in production while consumption decreased slightly, 2016/17 is seen in deficit for the third consecutive year, with consumption exceeding production by 1.2 million bags. However, the market has remained well supplied by stocks accumulated during surplus years in 2012/13 and 2013/14. Stocks in importing countries reached 25.4 million bags at the end of June 2017, their highest level since June 2009, which provides a buffer against any short‐term supply concerns.

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