Arabica Coffee Falls Back On Dollar Strength

July arabica coffee (KCN23) today is down -1.90 (-1.02%), and July ICE robusta coffee is not trading today, with markets in the UK closed for the May Day holiday.

Arabica coffee prices this morning are moderately lower and posted a 2-1/2 week low.  A stronger dollar today has weighed on most commodities, including coffee.

On April 19, arabica posted a 6-3/4 month nearest-futures (KCK23) high, and robusta surged to a 12-year high last Wednesday on expectations for smaller global coffee supplies.  Arabica coffee supplies have tightened as ICE monitored arabica coffee inventories last Friday fell to a 4-1/2 month low of 680,163 bags.  Also, the Colombia Coffee Growers Federation reported on April 12 that Colombia Mar coffee exports fell -19% y/y to 906,000 bags.  Colombia is the world’s second-largest arabica bean producer.

Robusta coffee has support from shrinking supplies.  Vietnam’s Q1 coffee exports fell -5% y/y to 552,613 MT.  Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of robusta beans.  Robusta prices are also being underpinned by concern that heavy rain will reduce coffee yields in Indonesia, the world’s third-biggest robusta producer.  In addition, global demand for robusta has increased as roasters and consumers seek cheaper coffee options to cope with high inflation.

Arabica coffee also has support due to excessive rain in Brazil, which may keep farmers out of fields and delay the coffee harvest.  Somar Meteorologia reported last Monday that Brazil’s Minas Gerais region received 38.9 mm of rain in the week ended April 23, or 469% of the historical average.  Minas Gerais accounts for about 30% of Brazil’s arabica crop.

A bearish factor for robusta coffee is an increase in inventories after ICE monitored robusta coffee inventories climbed to a 4-3/4 month high last Friday.

An excessive long position in arabica coffee futures could fuel long liquidation pressures after last Friday’s weekly Commitment of Traders (COT) data showed that funds boosted their net-long positions of arabica coffee futures by 1,524 in the week ending April 25 to a 7-month high of 35,081 long positions.

An excessive long position in robusta coffee futures could fuel long liquidation pressures after last Friday’s weekly Commitment of Traders (COT) data showed that funds boosted their net-long positions of robusta coffee futures by 4,859 in the week ending April 25 to a 15-month high of 39,798 long positions.

On April 5, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) reported global coffee exports during Oct-Feb fell -8.7% y/y to 48.66 mln bags.  Also, Cecafe reported April 19 that  Brazil’s Mar green coffee exports dropped -19% y/y to 2.78 mln bags.  By contrast, Honduran Mar coffee exports rose +14% y/y to 1.097 million bags.  Honduras is Central America’s biggest exporter of arabica beans.

Coffee prices also have support as the odds of an El Nino weather event increased, which could likely undercut global coffee production.  The U.S. Climate Prediction Center on April 13 raised the likelihood of an El Nino weather pattern emerging between August and October to 74% from 61% a month ago.  If that El Nino pattern occurs, it could bring heavy rains to Brazil and drought to India, negatively impacting coffee crop production.

Robusta has support on global supply concerns after coffee trader Volcafe forecasted the global 2023/24 robusta coffee market would see a record deficit of 5.6 mln bags.  In addition, the Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters and Industries said that Indonesia would see its 2023 coffee production fall -20% y/y to 9.6 mln bags due to damage from excessive rainfall across its growing regions.

On the bearish side, the Green Coffee Association reported April 17 that U.S. Mar green coffee inventories rose +3.4% y/y to 6,016,272 bags.  Also, Safras on April 17 projected Brazil’s coffee crop this year would increase +13% y/y to 66.65 mln bags and that Brazil’s 2023/24 coffee exports will climb by +21% y/y, given a projected surplus of 45 mln bags.

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) projects the global 2022/23 coffee market deficit will widen to -7.3 mln bags from a -7.1 mln bag deficit in 2021/22.  ICO projects that 2022/23 global coffee production will increase +1.7% y/y to 171.27 mln bags, and 2022/23 global coffee consumption will increase +1.7% y/y to 178.53 mln bags.

The USDA, in its bi-annual report released on December 23, cut its global 2022/23 coffee production estimate by -1.3% to 172.8 mln bags from a June estimate of 175.0 mln bags.  In addition, the USDA cut its 2022/23 global coffee ending stocks estimate by -1.7% to 34.1 mln bags from a June estimate of 34.7 mln bags.  Meanwhile, the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) on November 22 cut its Brazil 2022/23 coffee production forecast by -2.6% to 62.6 mln bags from a prior estimate of 64.3 mln bags.  This year was supposed to be the higher-yielding year of Brazil’s biennial coffee crop, but coffee output this year was slashed by drought.

Source: Rich Asplund (Barchart)

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