Vietnam is the world’s largest coffee producer but its export volume in January was just half the figure recorded in the same month of last year.
Two other coffee exporters, Indonesia and Brazil, seemed to stay put until harvest time in April or July.
The price of robusta coffee has kept rising since February 16 to $312 per tonne, partly due to a short supply from Vietnam, especially when the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship is drawing near.
The International Coffee Organization estimates total coffee output in the 2011-2012 crop at 7.92 million tonnes, about 180,000 tonnes lower than the total demand for 2012.
On February 19, coffee was sold at VND39.4 million per tonne in the central highland province of Dak Lak, in comparison with only VND33-34 million per tonne in January.
However, farmers said they could not make a good profit on account of high costs for fertilizers, chemicals, petroleum and labour.
Many have still kept in store 70 per cent of their coffee produce in the 2011-2012 crop, (equal to 700,000 tonnes) as they expect the coffee price to reach VND50 million per tonne in the coming months.