October 09, 2012 0 comment


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The coffee market stabilised slightly in February, but prices remain at very low levels. A lack of news regarding fundamentals with expectations of a large 2016/17 crop in Brazil have kept prices from maintaining any significant rally. Inventories in importing countries have been well replenished, giving a buffer against any immediate supply concerns. Finally, our initial estimate of world consumption in 2015 suggests a steady increase to 152.1 million bags, up from 150.3 million in 2014.


The monthly average of the ICO composite indicator settled 0.8% higher in February on 111.75 cents/lb, but daily prices finished the month weakly on 110.07 cents. The three Arabica group indicators all averaged higher compared to last month, but Robustas fell for the fourth consecutive month to their lowest level since May 2010.


The arbitrage between New York and London was mostly unchanged compared to January, but the differentials between the three Arabica groups and the Robusta indicator all increased. Furthermore, the differentials between the Arabica groups and the New York futures price have all been increasing recently, suggesting a potential for price increases that has not yet been observed in the futures markets.


Total exports in January 2016 came to 9 million bags, just 0.8% less than January 2015, although total exports for the first four months of the coffee year (October to January) are up 1.7% on 35.9 million bags. Exports from Brazil have started to slow, with January shipments down 10.2% compared to last year, suggesting that stockpiles might finally be wearing thin, although this is still a significant volume of coffee. Exports from Vietnam, on the other hand, are estimated up by 10.1% to 2.3 million bags. Colombia continues to export higher volumes, with production levels for the first third of the crop year already on 5.3 million bags.

Looking ahead, there are increasing reports that dry weather resulting from El Niño could potentially affect production in Vietnam, Indonesia and Colombia over the next few months, although any deficit could likely be covered by the increase in output expected from Brazil and Central America.

Furthermore, inventories in importing countries have been replenished, with the European Coffee Federation reporting green coffee stocks of 11.9 million bags in December 2015, up from 11.5 million the previous year. The US Green Coffee Association also reported an increase from 5.5 million bags to 5.8 million, which gives roasters a decent buffer against any short-term supply concerns.

Our initial estimate of world coffee consumption in calendar year 2015 comes to 152.1 million bags, up from 150.3 million in 2014, but a slightly more modest increase than in recent years. The average annual growth rate over the last four years remains at a healthy 2%. Demand in the world’s largest consumer, the European Union, has stagnated slightly at an estimated 42 million bags, averaging growth of 0.8% per year since 2012, but the USA continues to show an increased appetite for coffee, increasing by an average rate of 3.2% to an estimated 24.4 million bags. Japan also continues to expand, averaging 2.4% growth to 7.6 million bags. As a result, total consumption in all importing countries is estimated at 104.9 million bags.

Exporting countries have generally shown more dynamic demand patterns in recent years, and this trend has continued in 2015. Consumption growth in Brazil has slowed to an average of 0.5%, but remains high on 20.5 million bags. Much of the recent growth has come from Asia, with Indonesia, the Philippines, India and Thailand all growing at between 4.5 and 9%. Total consumption in exporting countries is therefore estimated at 47.3 million bags, at an average annual growth rate of 2.3% over the last four years.

(Source: ICO)

A promising sign for the developing specialty coffee sector in Myanmar, coffees at the second ever Myanmar Coffee Association cupping competition generally outscored last year’s marks, with higher-scoring individual winners and a much higher percentage of total coffees reaching specialty grade.

Placed on the Specialty Coffee Association of America scale, 56 of 60 total samples gathered for the competition met the 80-point threshold, while the winning coffee —a fully washed SL34 lot from Green Land Coffee estate of Pyin Oo Lwin — came in at 87 points. The top dry natural coffee, and second-highest-scoring coffee overall, from the Ma Mi Nyo smallholder community of Shan State, earned 86.75.

At last year’s inaugural competition — organized by numerous organizations working to improve Myanmar arabica quality, to bring it to market and to support the country’s farmers — the top scoring coffee, by comparison, earned an 84.25, while 21 of the 58 coffees scored met the 80-point mark.

This event was part of the USAID-funded Value Chains for Rural Development projectimplemented by the nonprofit Winrock International and organized by the Myanmar Coffee Association and the Coffee Quality Institute.

Three international judges and two local observers assessed the coffee. The international team was composed of SCAA Board Member Andrew Hetzel, Momentum Coffee founder and SCAA Roasters Guild Executive Council President Allen Leibowitz, and Sustainable Harvest Relationship Manager Dane Loraas.

The competition included estate-grown coffees as well as those from small farms, with the field representing 30 fully washed coffees and 30 naturals. According to CQI, coffees featured in the Myanmar project — including the top-scoring coffees — will be cupped at next month’s SCAA Event in Atlanta, which takes place April 14-17.

(Nick Brown - dailycoffeenews)

Soaring demand for the caffeinated brew could hasten destructive climate change by encouraging producers to chop down some of the last remaining tropical forests as they struggle to increase yields on existing farmland, according to a report released Thursday by the nonprofit Conservation International.

Coffee grows in tropical countries near the equator, such as Indonesia, Brazil and Uganda, where thick jungles rich with biodiversity provide fresh water and store tons of carbon. Farmers expand their fields by felling trees in these forests and burning the dense underbrush — releasing that carbon into the atmosphere, where it traps other gases and warms the planet. As a result, deforestation is a twofold environmental catastrophe: Left intact, forests absorb many of the pollutants that cause global warming. Destroyed, they unleash even more emissions and speed up the pace of climate change. 

Worse, it’s a self-perpetuating cycle. As climate change worsens, the amount of existing farmland suitable for growing coffee shrinks. 

The underlying market force in all this is the skyrocketing demand for coffee. Coffee growers may have to triple their production by 2050 to meet current demand forecasts, the report predicted. Coffee demand is expected to spike 25 percent in the next five years alone, according to a report last year by the industry group International Coffee Organization. 

Consider the two maps below. The dark blue, red and yellow segments represent forested areas where certain types of coffee could be grown in Brazil in 2010.

Now fast forward to the middle of the century. By 2050, much of the farmland where Arabica beans are produced, represented in light blue, is expected to recede. Farmland for Robusta, represented in light pink, nearly disappears.



                                                    Quite a change in just 40 years. 

“Ideally, plant breeders will develop new varieties that are adapted to the harsher conditions of the future, while, simultaneously, improving productivity.  That is a tall order, but not impossible,” Tim Killeen, a lead author of the report, said in a statement. “If it doesn’t happen, then coffee production will shift to landscapes with conditions similar to today’s coffee growing areas.”

Tropical forests currently cover 60 percent of the land around the world that can be used for coffee production. By 2050, as much as 20 percent of the land suitable for growing coffee would fall within the boundaries of protected areas. That means farmers will either have to produce more with less land, or start clearing new lands on which to grow. Conservation International named the Andes, Central America and Southeast Asia as the regions of most concern.

There is a hope. Some of the world’s biggest coffee sellers, such as Nestlé and Starbucks, have begun improving their supply chains to increase farmers’ yields with more sustainable growing practices. But unless those efforts are stepped up, the quickened pace of deforestation and climate change may derail the progress already made. 

“Unless we act now, the trend of coffee production towards full sustainability may well be reversed,” Peter Seligmann, founder and CEO of Conservation International, said in a statement. “The good news is that we know from our experience working with Starbucks and others that we can put the right practices in place to grow coffee in a way that protects forests and farmers — but we need to keep pushing these techniques on a global scale.”   

Source: Huffington Post

Bloomberg reported that Lotte Group (South Korea), TCC Holding and Central Group (Thailand) have applied to participate in the auction for the Big C Vietnam chain.

To own Big C chain, the investor will have to pay about US$800 million.

To cut debt, Casino Group of France is selling some assets in Asia and Latin America, while focusing on business activities in its largest market – France.

Last year, Lotte Group said it planned to open 60 supermarkets in Vietnam by 2020. The Korean group runs the fast food chain Lotteria, shopping centers, hotels and cinemas in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, in January 2016, TCC Holding of the Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi completed the acquisition of Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam with 655 million euros.

Earlier, many large retail groups wanted to join the race to own the Big C chain in Vietnam, including Singapore’s Dairy Farm; Japan’s Aeon …

The sale of Big C Vietnam was decided after Big C Thailand was sold late last month for $3.5 billion.

Casino Group has not made any comment about the new information.

Lotte representative told Bloomberg that they were very interested in the deal.

Meanwhile, TCC Holding and Central Group both declined to answer questions about the deal.

However, in an interview with Techinasia few days ago, the Central Group’s CEO Tos Chirathivat seemed to be unsure about the deal because the process of buying and selling Big C Vietnam is a lot more complex than the Big C Thailand.

Lotte Group last year announced plans to open 60 supermarkets in Vietnam until 2020. The purchase of Big C Vietnam can be considered as the easiest way for them to achieve this ambition.


Viet Nam aims to achieve annual average economic growth of 6.5 per cent to 7 per cent through 2020, striving to turn itself into an advanced industrial country soon, according to the Resolution of the 12th National Party’s Congress.

The Resolution, approved and made public at the end of the nine-day long National Congress of the Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV), mapped out several targets in terms of socioeconomic development as well as environmental protection that will set the specific working checklist for the new Party and Government leaders in the next five years.

According to the Resolution, GDP per capita was expected to rise to $3,500 by 2020 from $2,019 in 2015.

The Party also set the task to keep the unemployment rate in urban areas below 4 per cent while 80 per cent of the population will be covered by health insurance – an indication that the ultimate target of making health insurance universal is unlikely to be achieved soon.

About 95 per cent of urban residents and 90 per cent of those living in the countryside will have access to clean and hygienic water, according to the Resolution.

Apart from those specific target figures, the Resolution also listed six key missions to be carried out in the upcoming time, one of which is a refinement of the Party in order to stop the regression of the political ideology, morals and lifestyle of the 4.5 million Party members.

Further works will be done to build a lean and efficient political system as well as to bolster the fight against corruption, state budget waste and bureaucracy.

Preserving the country’s territorial integrity was also one of the key missions for the political system to uphold especially in the context of Viet Nam being one of the main parties involved in the simmering East Sea dispute.

Though firmly safeguarding the homeland, according to the Resolution, Viet Nam at the same time strives to maintain an environment of peace and stability favourable to development as well as to further deepen relationships with other countries for a fruitful international integration.

Meanwhile, labour productivity, the economy’s competitiveness and economic growth quality were three issues that received a call for stronger measures to accelerate the country’s economy.

The productivity of Vietnamese workers were known to rest in the bottom half of the ASEAN bloc’s, raising concerns among experts of the country’s competitiveness especially as Viet Nam is a member of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) starting this year and has also signed several international trade agreements including the historic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

(General Economic Department - Intimex Nhatrang JSC)

Singapore took the lead for foreign investment in Vietnam in the first two months of 2016, reported the Foreign Investment Department.

During this period, Singapore had 30 newly-registered projects with a total registered capital of about $435 million. In addition, six projects increased capital, totaling $33.8 million, bringing the total newly registered capital of Singapore to nearly $469 million.

By February 20, Singaporean investors had 1,569 valid projects in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of over $36 billion, ranking third out of 112 countries and territories investing in the country.

The average capital of Singaporean projects is about $23 million/project, compared to the average of foreign invested projects in Vietnam of $13.96 million/project.

In terms of investment areas, Singaporean projects mainly focus on the processing industry, with 481 projects and $15.6 billion of capital, accounting for 30.65% of the total number of projects and 43.47% of total investment capital of Singapore in Vietnam.

In second place is real estate with 80 projects and $10.8 billion, making up 5% of the total number of projects and 29.95% of total investment.

The arts and entertainment, construction, transport and storage also attract Singaporean investors, with $1.8 billion, $1.7 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively.

Ho Chi Minh City hosts the largest number of projects from Singapore, with 786 projects and registered capital of $9.6 billion, accounting for 50% of total projects and 26.71% of the total registered capital of Singapore in Vietnam.

Singaporean investors favor the form of 100% foreign investment with 1,163 projects and $23.4 billion, representing 74% of total projects and 65% of total registered capital.

The rest is in the form of joint ventures and business cooperation contracts.

The Foreign Investment Agency said that investment capital by Singaporean investors in Vietnam continued to increase in recent years. These projects are effective, making a significant contribution to job creation, exports and economic growth of Vietnam.

(General Economic Department - Intimex Nhatrang JSC)


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