Asia Coffee: Low prices in Vietnam, elections in Indonesia slow trade

A woman places coffee beans into a machine to sort the beans by size at a coffee factory in Hanoi, Vietnam September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Kham

By Khanh Vu and Mas Alina Arifin

HANOI/BANDAR LAMPUNG (Reuters) - Coffee trading has been slow this week in Vietnam due to weak prices, while elections in Indonesia saw traders keep to the sidelines.

Farmers in Vietnam's Central Highlands sold coffee at 30,500-31,400 dong ($1.35)($1.31-$1.35) per kg on Thursday, compared with 30,900-31,800 dong last week.

"Prices have been so low because of strong sales from Brazil, whose currency has weakened significantly against the U.S. dollar, prompting sales of dollar-denominated commodities," said a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City.

"Farmers in Vietnam are reluctant to sell at such low prices," the trader said.

Traders in Vietnam offered 5 percent black and broken grade 2 robusta at a $45 per tonne discount to the July contract, compared with a $60 discount last week.

July robusta coffee settled down $19, or 1.3 percent, at $1,412 per tonne on Wednesday.

In Indonesia, trading has slowed due to the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Premiums for the grade 4 defect 80 robusta rose to $150-$160 to the May contract on Thursday from $150 a week ago, a trader based in Lampung said.

"Beans are still quite expensive since trades were dominated by big local buyers," the trader added.

Another trader said premiums were steady at $100-$110 to the July contract.

($1 = 23,201 dong)

(Reporting by Khanh Vu and Mas Alina Arifin; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)