Physical trading in the Colombian cash arabica coffee market continued at a slow pace this week as premiums rose on growing supply concerns over a disappointing main 2009-10 harvest, exporters and traders said Wednesday.
“The premiums have been rising and there is a lot of talk and speculation about what will be the volume of the harvest, the flow is still slow even now in November,” said one exporter in Bogota.
Coffee exports in October from Colombia, the world’s largest producer of top-quality mild washed arabica beans, fell 37% to 529,000 60-kilogram bags, one of the lowest coffee export volumes registered for that month in Colombia in 30 years.
As pressure remained on fresh supply cash differentials remained firm, especially for nearby shipments under contract obligations for exporters who had expected to see the flow of coffee to recover since early October.
Colombian coffee for commercial grade “usually good quality” beans was quoted at premiums between 31 cents per pound and 33 c/lb, compared to premiums last week between 29 c/lb and 32 c/lb.
Arabica prices at the ICE Futures U.S. exchange in New York strengthened Wednesday with the active December ‘C’ contract closing up 1.95 cents at $1.4080/lb.
Colombia, with annual output of between 11.5 million and 12.5 million bags in recent years, is the world’s third-largest producer after Brazil and Vietnam. (Dow Jones)