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HANOI/BANDAR LAMPUNG: Domestic robusta prices in Vietnam narrowed slightly this week on thin supply, while premiums in Indonesia rose amid expectations of lower output from the mini harvest, traders said on Thursday.

Farmers in the central highlands, Vietnam’s largest coffee-growing area, sold beans at 46,700 dong to 48,800 dong ($1.97 to $2.06) per kg, compared with last week’s 45,000 dong to 49,500 dong range. Coffee exports from Vietnam are estimated to have decreased 13.1% in the first two months of 2023 from a year earlier to 323,000 tonnes, equivalent to 5 million 60-kg (130-pound) bags, the General Statistics Office said.

“The news about coffee exports from Vietnam in the first two months of this year lower than the year before was a push for London prices to rise after some falling sessions,” said an exporter based in Ho Chi Minh City, adding trade remained tepid.

May robusta futures on ICE settled up $37, at $2,177 per tonne as of Wednesday’s close, Refinitiv data showed. Meanwhile, prices of Indonesia’s Sumatran robusta beans in Lampung province this week rose amid expectation of lower output from the mini harvest.

One trader offered $50 premium to the May contract this week, up from $40 premium to the March contract last week. Another trader offered $100 to $120 premium to the April and May contracts this week, up from $50 to $60 premiums to the same contracts a week ago.

“Coffee prices rose slightly due to heavy rains which caused the coffee cherries to fall off,” one of the traders said. “Output from this mini harvest may not be much.”

Indonesia exported 15,006.2 tonnes of Sumatran robusta coffee beans from the province of Lampung in January, down 32.58% from the same month last year, data from the local trade office showed.

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