Ho Chi Minh City (ANTARA News) - Indonesia, a key robusta producer, has been negotiating to buy 25,000 tonnes of Vietnamese coffee to fill a shortfall at home, where consumption has been rising, an industry official said on Thursday.
"Indonesian companies are talking with Vietnamese exporters to buy 25,000 tonnes for early shipment as our stock is very low now," Litha Brent, vice chairman of the Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters (AEKI), told Reuters.
A Vietnamese exporter, who was familiar with the price talks, said Indonesian buyers were in Ho Chi Minh City, looking mostly for robusta grade 1, discounts of which to London March contracts now stood at $100 to $110 a tonne.
"They would take shipment over a period of time, each with several containers," he said.
March contracts ended $27 up at $1,792 a tonne on Wednesday in London.
Vietnam is the world's largest producer of robusta variety used for making instant coffee while Indonesia is its Asian rival in production of the beans.
Indonesia is likely to import up to 60,000 tonnes of coffee from Vietnam, Kenya and Uganda in January to April 2008 to meet expanding demand ahead of the new crop arrival, AEKI Chairman Hassan Widjaja told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.
The net coffee exporter produces about 300,000 tonnes of coffee beans a year. Its domestic consumption is estimated to rise 11 percent to 200,000 tonnes next year, Widjaja said.
Indonesia has bought 80,000 tonnes of coffee this year for domestic consumption, Brent said at an international conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's key coffee trading market.
The main coffee harvest in Sumatra, a key coffee producing region, runs from March to October.