* Indonesia's ELB beans cheaper than 80 defects
* Vietnam robusta at $30 to $70 discounts
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, Nov 23 Prices of higher-quality
Indonesian robustas were unchanged this week after ample supply
prompted roasters to stay on the sidelines, but the
commonly-traded beans fetched high premiums with the new harvest
still months away, dealers said on Friday.
In top robusta producer Vietnam, beans stayed at discounts
to London futures for nearby shipments, attracting a bit of
interest from foreign roasters. The crop harvest in Vietnam may
finish as early as next month after the rainy season ended
sooner than usual.
"I would say the Vietnamese beans are at $30 to $40
discounts because the London market has gone lower. But the
buying interest is more like at $60 to $70 under London," said a
dealer in Singapore.
"European roasters are still chasing Vietnamese beans. The
crop is progressing and everything runs smoothly."
Last week, Vietnam grade 2, 5 percent black and broken beans
stood at discounts of $50 to $60 below London's January
contract. Vietnam harvested a record crop of about 1.6 million
tonnes in the recently ended 2011/2012 season on higher yields
and as new areas became productive.
In Indonesia's main growing island of Sumatra, the Extra
Large Bean variety was quoted at $90 above London futures,
unchanged from last week, and cheaper than the widely-traded but
lower quality grade 4, 80 defect robustas.
"Indonesian beans are generally expensive. The Extra Large
Beans were recently sold at $90 premiums for January-February
delivery against the March contract. But local exporters are
still offering the beans at plus $200," said a dealer in
"There's a shortage in lower grade supply. This time, the
crop has produced more bigger beans and the stock is also
plenty. That's why people are not buying them."
Sumatran grade 4, 80 defect beans were quoted at premiums of
$100 a tonne to London's January contract, unchanged
from last week.
The extended harvest has ended in Sumatra and the flowering
season has started in several parts of the island. A smaller
harvest, or the fly crop, is likely to start as early as next
month. The main harvest normally kicks in in April or May.
Indonesian beans could stay at their current premiums next
week, with dealers also closely watching the progress of the
flowering season in Sumatra.
"It's been raining heavily in the last two days. The concern
is that flowers may fall from the trees if this persists until
the end of the year," said the dealer in Sumatra.
"But I have yet to receive reports from plantations about
the latest development there."
Heavy rain damaged the crop in the 2011/12 season that ended
around August last year, causing a severe supply shortage that
drove premiums to record highs at $550.
(Editing by Clarence Fernandez)