Vietnam domestic coffee prices to rise slightly after virus found in coffee region

HANOI, July 29 (Reuters) - Domestic coffee prices in Vietnam looked set to rise slightly on Wednesday following new coronavirus cases in the country’s major coffee-growing Central Highlands region, although farmers and traders said they were not too concerned.

Vietnam, which has been virus-free for months, was bracing for another wave of COVID-19 infections on Wednesday after state media reported new cases in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the Central Highlands, all linked to a recent outbreak in the central city of Danang.

“Domestic prices will be slightly up in the coming days, but not much, as it’s the end of the crop season and farmers have sold most of their stocks,” a trader based in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak told Reuters by phone.

“I don’t think the reintroduction of the virus this time will weigh on domestic prices as much as it did in March”.

Traders said baby coffee beans at farms in Vietnam were growing well in favourable weather conditions, adding that a bumper harvest is expected this October.

“We’ve been living with (the effects of) the virus for months,” said Ksor Tung, a Dak Lak-based coffee farmer. “I am still going to see my coffee trees tomorrow, but wearing a mask, of course”.

Reporting by Phuong Nguyen Editing by James Pearson, Martin Petty