Vietnam's May coffee exports extend downtrend to finish at 6-month low

By Ho Binh Minh   May 29, 2017 | 04:34 pm GMT+7

Coffee exports for the 2016/2017 season have already fallen nearly 7 percent, based on government data.

Vietnam, the world's largest exporter of robusta coffee, will ship an estimated 120,000 tons (2 million bags) of coffee this month, the lowest volume in six months and a drop of around a quarter from a year earlier, the government said on Monday.

This figure would bring the accumulated volume since October 2016 at the start of the current 2016/2017 crop year to 1.09 million tons, down nearly 7 percent from the previous season, based on data from the General Statistics Office's monthly report.

The forecast for May, which is down 25.5 percent from the same month last year, is the lowest since November 2016 when the country exported 114,600 tons.

Falling shipments from Vietnam, the world's second largest coffee producer after Brazil, suggest dwindling stocks. Last month's shipments hit a five-month low of 134,800 tons, based on government data.

Strong exports in the first months of 2017 have left foreign buyers with adequate stocks and Vietnam with less coffee beans.

In March, a senior executive from Vietnam's top coffee export firm Intimex warned the country could fall short of the bitter beans in May or June due to rising shipments and dwindling domestic stocks.

The country's stocks at the end of the 2016/2017 crop year are forecast to plunge 64 percent from the previous season to 1.38 million bags, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its May report released last week.

Vietnam's coffee crop year lasts between October and September.