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Vietnam domestic coffee prices hit four-month lows; trading thin in Indonesia

HANOI/BANDAR LAMPUNG (Reuters) - Vietnam’s domestic coffee prices fell to four-month lows this week, tracking international prices, while trading was thin in Indonesia at the end of its main harvest season, traders said on Thursday.

A worker shows coffee green beans at coffee company Simexco Dak Lak Limited in the town of Di An in Binh Duong province, Vietnam July 8, 2019. Picture taken July 8, 2019. REUTERS/Yen Duong/File Photo

Farmers in the Central Highlands, Vietnam's largest coffee-growing area, sold coffee COFVN-DAK at 30,000 dong ($1.29) per kg on Thursday, according to traders.

January robusta coffee LRCc2 settled down $24, or 1.9%, at $1,240 per tonne on Wednesday.

“There have been virtually no transactions in the past weeks as buyers are waiting for fresh beans from the upcoming season,” a trader based in the region said, adding that new beans wouldn’t arrive until mid-November.

“Farmers make no profit at this price considering the production cost is already at 33,000 dong per kg.”

Traders forecast the output to be around 30 million 60-kg bags for the 2019/20 crop year starting Oct. 1.

Traders in Vietnam offered 5% black and broken grade 2 robusta COFVN-G25-SAI at $200 premium per tonne to the January contract on Thursday. Last week, premiums were $160-$180 to the November contract.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's grade 4 defect 80 robusta beans COFID-G4-USD were offered at premiums of $300 to the December contract. Last week the beans were offered at $215-$230 premiums to the November contract.

The increase in premium was to balance out a “considerable drop” in coffee prices in London, a trader said. However, trade was thin as new supply diminished post-harvest.

“We believe farmers still have some stocks they hold on to. They are waiting for higher prices,” the trader said.

Reporting by Phuong Nguyen in HANOI and Mas Alina Arifin in BANDAR LAMPUNG; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu