ICE certifies Brazilian coffee for first time as futures sink

06/21/2013

* Weak Brazilian currency attracts commodity selling there

* Brazil delivers 320 60-kg bags of coffee to ICE

* Brazilian arabica deliverable to ICE at 900-point discount

NEW YORK, June 21 (Reuters) - ICE Futures U.S. has certified coffee grown in top producer Brazil, exchange data showed. This was the first time the South American country delivered beans to New York and came as the futures market held its downtrend.

The ICE certified stocks report earlier this week showed that 320 60-kg bags of arabica beans from Brazil were delivered to New York this week.

The move took place as Brazil harvests a huge crop that has pushed the arabica futures market to a four-year low. By 10:49 a.m. EDT (1449 GMT), the benchmark ICE arabica futures contract had risen 1.8 percent to $1.2050 per lb, bouncing up after sinking to a four-year low of $1.1710 on Thursday.

Brazil's currency, the real, has recently been weakening, encouraging origin selling of dollar-traded commodities as it boosts local incomes from the sale.

In 2010, the exchange approved Brazil as a deliverable origin, effective for March 2013 delivery, but Brazilian producers had been receiving better prices on the physical market, causing U.S. dealers to shrug off the idea of Brazilian deliveries earlier this year.

ICE certified coffee is washed arabica coffee, typically resulting in higher-quality beans than unwashed. The majority of Brazil's arabica coffee is unwashed, or natural, though producers have been increasing the amount of washed and semi-washed beans that they process in recent years.

The acceptance of Brazilian coffee coincided with the exchange amending its certification standard to include being "free from all unwashed and aged flavors in the cup."

Brazilian beans are delivered to ICE at a 900-point differential under the benchmark price.



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