Morning Futures Roundup
Traders Turning a Cold Shoulder to the Coffee Market
Arabica Coffee futures prices have become range bound lately, as mixed fundamentals have failed to put bulls or bears in the driver’s seat. High quality beans have been scarce so far this year, as buyers scramble to secure supplies due to less than stellar crops out of Central America this past season. However, Brazil, who is the world’s leading Coffee producer, is expecting a large crop this season, with current estimates for the 2010-11 harvest of just over 55 million bags. If true, this would be an increase of over 20% from last year’s totals and is likely due to the cyclical nature of Coffee production.
Although it appears that Coffee supplies should rebound this season, we still have to get through the South American winter, with potential frost and freeze scares providing traders a reason to keep a "weather premium" priced into the nearby futures contracts. Short-term weather forecasts area calling for cooler weather in parts of the Coffee producing areas of Brazil next week, but so far the chances for freezing conditions looks remote. Traders are also awaiting reports out of Central America regarding the extent of the damage caused in Coffee production areas due to Tropical Storm Agatha. So far it appears that there was little severe damage to the crop, but it may be too early to know the true extent of any damage to this season’s production.
The Commitment of Traders report shows that both large and small speculators are growing weary of the lack of direction in Coffee prices, as both non-commercial and non-reportable traders had shed a combined 6,544 contracts off their net positions as of May 25th. So unless the South American winter weather takes a turn for the worse, some traders may turn their focus to other markets as their cup of Coffee gets cold.
Looking at the daily chart for September Coffee, we notice prices hovering near both the short-term 20-day moving average and the longer-term 100-day moving average. This scenario would seem to indicate that neither bulls nor bears currently have the upper hand. Many traders likely will begin to turn their focus to the rolling of positions out of the front month July contract and into September as July’s June 22nd first notice day approaches. The 14-day RSI is about as neutral as can be with a current reading of 49.57. Resistance for September Coffee is seen at the April 5th high of 142.75, with support found at the February 25th low of 131.55.
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