Intense fund activity stirs up coffee mkt

Written by Jaishankar Jayaramiah | Bangalore, Apr 13 | Updated: Apr 15 2008, 03:59am hrs
Continuing fund activity in the commodity markets, which was noted in February and intensified in March, led to a further increase in price volatility in the world coffee market. According to a report published by the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), during March 5-6, quotations on the New York futures market fluctuated by 5.5% falling from 165.10 cent per lb to 155.95 cents per lb, only to rise again to 159.05 cents per lb on March 13 before falling by 17.5% to 131.2 cents per lb on March 31.

Arabica coffee prices were subject to downward adjustments during March. The monthly average of the ICO composite indicator price fell marginally from 138.82 cent per lb in February to 136.17 cent per lb in March. The fall in the composite indicator price is attributable to the Arabica prices, which on an average lost 5% of the value.

Robusta prices were up 5.6% compared to their February levels, reflecting some uncertainty in supplies from Robusta exporting countries. The differential between other mild Arabicas and Robustas was reduced by more than 33% falling from 41.84 cent in February to 27.97 cent in March. Prices also recorded market volatility, with the monthly average price of the ICO composite indicator price down from 152.85 cent per lb on March 3 to 122.93 cent per lb on March 31.

In a statement released on Thursday, ICO executive director Nestor Osorio said, Despite a downward correction in Arabica prices, the positive trend in world consumption has helped to maintain firm price trends. It should be recognised that a number of producing countries are implementing internal programmes that will lead to increased domestic consumption.