MILAN – Robusta coffee futures in London surged to record-high levels during the first session of the week. The most active contract for July delivery closed yesterday at $2,444 a tonne, up $62 or 2.6%, having reached an intraday peak of $2,485, the highest level for the ICE Robusta benchmark in nearly 12 years.
On the other side of the pond, Arabica futures for July delivery settled 200 points higher at 193.45 cents per lb. ICE Arabica hit last week a six-month high. According to the latest COT, speculators raised their net long position by 9,355 contracts to 20,262 in the week to April 18.
Robusta prices skyrocketed on shrinking supplies and strong demand for the lower-quality variety.
The General Statistics Office (GSO) reported that Vietnam exported 572,000 tons during the first quarter of 2023, down 1.6% from the same period last year. However, shipments rose 9.2% in March to 230,000 tons.
Dealers say coffee farmers in Vietnam are downsizing their coffee cultivation area to grow passion fruits and durian instead.
Prices are also supported by concern that heavy rain will reduce coffee yields in Indonesia. In addition, global demand for robusta has increased as roasters and consumers seek cheaper coffee options to cope with high inflation, analysts say.
Cocoa and sugar futures markets are also rallying. May raw sugar settled up 1.08 cent, or 4.3%, at 25.91 cents per lb after setting an 11-year high of 25.99 cents.
July London cocoa fell 32 pounds, or 1.4%, to 2,253 pounds per tonne, having hit a 6-1/2-year high last week.