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Coffee Dec '19 (KCZ19)

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Coffee Futures Market News and Commentary

Coffee Prices Settle Lower on a Weak Brazilian Real and Escalation of Trade Tensions

Dec arabica coffee (KCZ19) on Friday closed down -1.25 (-1.28%), and Jan ICE robusta coffee (RMU19) closed down -14 (-1.03%). Coffee prices fell back Friday on weakness in the Brazilian real along with escalation of the U.S./China trade war, which adds to concern about the global economy and demand for commodities, including coffee. The Brazilian real tumbled -1.10% Friday to an 11-month low against the dollar. A weaker real is negative for coffee prices as it encourages export selling by Brazil's coffee producers. Trade tensions between the U.S. and China also escalated Friday, which is negative for global growth and commodity demand, after China announced plans to impose additional tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports. A bullish factor for arabica coffee was Rabobank's projection on Thursday for a global 2019/20 arabica coffee deficit of -5.5 mln bags, the highest in 7 years. Rabobank also boosted its 2019/20 global coffee deficit estimate to -4.1 mln bags from a May projection of a -1.8 mln bag deficit. Coffee prices also have carry-over support from Tuesday when Inmet, Brazil's meteorology institute, said that there is an increased chance for an El Nino event by year-end that could bring below-average precipitation and above-average temperatures to Brazil's coffee-growing areas in January. Sep arabica coffee on Tuesday fell to a 3-month nearest-futures low after researcher Marex Spectron said Brazil's coffee exports remain on a record pace. Marex predicts Brazil Aug coffee exports of 3.4 mln bags which would bring Brazil's coffee exports in the first two months of the 2019/20 crop year to a record 6.8 mln bags, up +650,000 bags above the previous record in the 2014/15 year. Coffee supplies are on the rise and continue to undercut coffee prices. The International Coffee Organization (ICO) on Aug 5 raised its global 2018/19 coffee surplus estimate by +26% to 3.92 mln bags from a July estimate of a 3.11 mln bag surplus. Also, the Columbian Coffee Growers Federation reported Aug 5 that July coffee production in Columbia, the world's second-biggest arabica producer, jumped +25% y/y to 1.3 mln bags. Recent dry weather in Brazil has been favorable for harvesting and negative for coffee prices after Safras & Mercado reported Aug 8 that Brazil's coffee harvest was 93% completed as of Aug 6, ahead of last year's 88% level and well ahead of the 5-year average of 84%. In a supportive factor for robusta coffee, Vietnam's National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said Aug 14 that the Central Highlands, Vietnam's coffee-growing region, will receive 20%-40% less rain than average this month. In a bearish factor for robusta coffee, Vietnam's General Department of Vietnam Customs on July 28 reported that Vietnam July coffee exports rose +24.2% y/y to 165,000 MT, although cumulative Jan-Jul coffee exports fell by -7.6% y/y to 1.084 MMT. Vietnam is the world's largest producer of robusta beans. Big Picture Coffee Market Factors: World coffee production (Oct/Sep) in 2018/19 will climb +1.5% y/y to a record 167.747 mln bags with global consumption +2.0% y/y to 164.636 mln bags (ICO). The world coffee surplus in 2018/19 will fall to 3.11 mln bags from the mildly larger 2017/18 surplus of 3.836 mln bags (ICO). USDA projects global 2018/19 coffee production will climb +7.1% y/y to a record 171.166 mln bags and global 2018/19 coffee ending stocks will increase by +11.6% to a 3-year high of 32.812 mln bags.
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