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October 6th-10th: What happened in the global coffee market?

As always, it was another busy week for the global coffee market between Monday October 6th and Friday October 10th, with our traders here at DRWakefield following every move – particular highlights included the goings-on of the New York market and Brazil’s production, or potential lack of.

We know our roasters are interested in what goes on in the world of coffee from the production process right up until the beans enter their hoppers, so we've taken a comprehensive look at the past week's coffee news from around the globe to provide some enlightenment.

New York terminal market

Monday’s market opened explosively, rising over ten cents in the first minute – a performance that many traders have never witnessed before and are unlikely to see again. 

While Tuesday and Wednesday's trading sessions helped to claw back some of the rise, their efforts were quashed with Thursday’s bull run yet again pushing the market up eight cents to close the week out at around 221 cents – the highest close in over two years.

London’s Robusta market also saw good activity last week, and followed New York in showing strength in rising to almost $2200 pmt, though it hit selling pressure from Vietnam, as producers relieved themselves of stocks.

Currency 

Currency fluctuations continue and last week saw several ups and downs, with the US dollar falling against many currencies – in part due to hints from the Federal Reserve that low interest rates could be set to stay a little longer in a bid to encourage growth elsewhere in the economy. The GBP v USD traded between 1.62 and 1.59 throughout the week.

Given the rise in the value of New York over the past week, it was no surprise that origins such as Kenya and Tanzania, which continue to trade coffee through outright auction systems, saw a rise in coffee prices. 

Although given the meteoric rise of New York (186 cents to 226 cents in six days of trading), comparatively, prices actually softened somewhat. The higher terminal market values have resulted in some significant origins relaxing their asking prices (differentially speaking) and coupled with increased production from the likes of Colombia, have seen some good volumes of Arabicas available at attractive levels.

Coffee volumes

With the harvest in many regions coming to an end, and others just beginning, now is a very prominent time to take stock of production levels for the coming year, with these likely to be key indicators of pricing and availability of coffees to come. 

There have been concerns surrounding how much coffee Brazil will export this year, as the country has experienced one of the worst droughts in years.

However, figures from the Council of Green Coffee Exporters (Cecafe) show around 2.63 million 60 kg bags of green coffee beans were shipped from the South American country in September 2014, indicating an increase of 9.6 per cent when compared to the same month last year. This was slightly less than the amount exported in August, when 2.77 million bags were shipped abroad.

Colombia also increased its output during September, exporting 912,000 bags, showing a six per cent rise compared to the previous year. These improved figures finally reverse the past five years of negative decline for the country, bringing production back into the 12 million 70 kg bag range from the lows of 7.5 million recorded just half a decade ago.

Arabica and Robusta performance

As the arbitrage – the difference in value between each type of bean – relating to Arabica and Robusta widens, many roasters are beginning to take more interest in the latter due to its cost benefits – great news to Indonesian and Vietnamese Robusta farmers who look set for bumper crops this year.

Looking at the Robusta market, Vietnam – the world's largest Robusta-producing country – is expected to continue the shipment success it experienced in September, with approximately 1.67 million 60 kg bags forecast to be exported during October.