Robusta Coffee Prices Hit Highest Since 2011 on Supply Woes
Comment of the Day

October 26 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Robusta Coffee Prices Hit Highest Since 2011 on Supply Woes

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here it is in full:

Robusta coffee futures rallied to the highest in more than a decade driven by dwindling stockpiles for the beans favored for instant-coffee brands such as Nestle SA’s Nescafe. 

January futures in London jumped as much as 3.8% to $2,278 a ton, the highest for a most-active contract since September 2011. Arabica coffee also rose in New York. 

Both varieties have climbed more than 60% this year after drought and frosts damaged the arabica crop in Brazil, the No. 1 coffee producer, boosting demand for the cheaper robustas. The January-March spread in London surged to record premium. 

At the same time, soaring shipping costs are hindering a draw down of hefty stockpiles in robusta giant Vietnam. Exchange-monitored stockpiles for both varieties have continued to slide as roasters tap stored reserves.  

Technical-trading indicators are “very positive” and that attracted more buying, plus “there’s concern that flows have been paralyzed out of Vietnam because of the lack of container and elevated freights,” said Hernando de la Roche, senior vice president at StoneX Financial in Miami.

Eoin Treacy's view

The Baltic Dry Index is currently unwinding a short-term overbought condition so that will take some of the pressure off of exporters of just about everything. Nevertheless, it will be quite some time before the port bottlenecks are eliminated.

The Robusta price is back in the region of the peaks posted over the last decade and hit a new closing high today. While overbought in the short term, a clear downward dynamic will be required to check momentum.

Arabica, has been ranging since the Brazilian frost and is now back testing the peaks set in 2014. A break in the short-term sequence of higher reaction lows would be required to question potential for additional upside.

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