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HANOI/BANDAR LAMPUNG: Coffee trade was sluggish in Vietnam on thin demand, while Indonesia remained quiet due to low stockpiles, traders said.

Farmers in the Central Highlands, Vietnam’s largest coffee-growing area, sold beans at 39,900 dong to 40,600 dong ($1.69-$1.72) per kg, down from last week’s range of 40,000 dong to 41,700 dong.

“Demand is not very high now. Beans have started to come, but not so abundant as many traders are now on holidays,” said a trader based in the coffee belt, adding that farmers are more or less done harvesting their crops.

Traders said farmers were seeking to sell beans for the upcoming long holiday. At the same time, they looked forward to higher prices. According to a biannual report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released this week, Vietnam was seen harvesting a crop of 30.2 million bags, down 1.4 million from the prior season on reduced yields.

Fertiliser prices in Vietnam had risen as much as 70% in the last year, the USDA noted. Traders in Vietnam offered 5% black and broken-grade 2 robusta at a discount of $80 to $90 per tonne to the May contract, unchanged from last week.

March robusta futures on ICE settled up $11 at $1,879 per tonne on Wednesday. Sumatran robusta beans for the January contract were offered at $100 premium in Indonesia’s Lampung province, unchanged from last week.

Another trader offered $140 to $150 premium to the January and February contracts, compared with $140 premium last week. Both the traders said coffee trading activities were pretty quiet.

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