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HANOI: Vietnam’s domestic coffee prices edged up this week due to tight supplies at the end of the season and the ongoing shipping shortages that have persisted for the past seven months, traders said on Thursday.

Farmers in the Central Highlands, Vietnam’s largest coffee-growing area, sold coffee at 37,000-37,200 dong ($1.61-$1.62) per kg, up from last week’s 34,600-35,500 dong.

“Trading activities have already been dull since the last couple of weeks due to low stocks and now with the movement curbs to contain the virus, the market is lots more subdued,” a trader based in the coffee belt said.

Another trader based in the area said shipping container crunch which pushed the freight to at least three times higher than pre-pandemic also contributed to the surge of prices.

New coffee season will start from October but fresh beans will not come in bulk until November, traders said.

“To date, baby cherries seem to be good. But I reckon the output the upcoming 2021/22 season is not as high as the current one as many farmers have switched to avocado or passion fruit trees for higher income,” according to the second trader.

Traders in Vietnam offered 5% black and broken-grade 2 robusta at discounts of $80-$90 per tonne to the September contract, compared with $60-$100 discount range last week.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Sumatra robusta beans were offered at premiums of $20-$30 to the August-September contract, down from last week’s $30-$50 premiums to the August contract.

Another trader quoted $50 discount to the September- November contract, compared with the zero differential a week ago.

“Stocks are abundant in the middle of the harvest so price has flipped to discount,” one trader said.

Another trader said falling price was due to the increase in London terminal.

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