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HANOI/BANDAR LAMPUNG: Vietnamese coffee prices rose this week tracking higher prices in London due to limited stocks, as farmers held off from selling amid shipping disruptions due to tensions in the Red Sea, traders said on Thursday.

Farmers in the central highlands, Vietnam’s largest coffee-growing area, were selling beans for 69,800-72,000 dong ($2.85-$2.94) per kg, up from last week’s 67,000-67,900 dong. “It is very hard to buy (beans) now although all are rushing to buy,” said a trader based in the coffee belt.

“Prices are climbing up every day and the disruption will not be solved anytime soon. Farmers are selling, but not in bulk.” March robusta coffee has gained $164 in a week, at $2,950 per ton as of Wednesday, due to the conflict in the Red Sea which has disrupted shipping routes for the past weeks.

Another trader said some were speculating beans, causing a more severe scarcity of beans on the market. “Roasters in EU now have to pay the additional freight caused by this unexpected event while exporters here find it hard to ship beans to EU,” the second trader added.

Traders offered 5% black and broken-grade 2 robusta at a premium range of $70-$100 per ton to the March contract. Vietnam exported 1.6 million metric tons of coffee in 2023, down 8.7% from 2022, government customs data showed. Export revenue for the period, however, rose 4.6% to $4.2 billion.

In Indonesia, Sumatra coffee beans premiums fell to $550-$600 to the January-February contract, from last week’s $600 premium. “The local prices adjusted to London prices which have gone up in the past days,” one trader said.

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