Both arabica and robusta coffee futures were slightly lower on Friday, with the commodities steadying a bit following a large, mid-week sell-off. On Wednesday, arabica coffee futures plunged 2.1% to reach 141.70 cents a pound. On Friday, the arabica contract was trading fractionally lower. Robusta coffee futures were trading with a slight downside bias. Arabica coffee futures are feeling the pressure of larger crops in Colombia and Brazil, while the robusta market is seeing only limited support from tight supplies.

Meanwhile, a reverse auction on Wednesday in Brazil aimed to attract eventual suppliers of robusta coffee in Brazil failed to close any deals, according to the official agency providing the auction’s platform and the country’s instant coffee industry. Even when the bids came above current market prices for robusta, there were no deals, which reinforces the reality of a very tight market,” Aguinaldo Lima, a director at Brazil’s instant coffee producers association told Reuters.

A new F1 hybrid coffee variety called Starmaya may forever change the coffee breeding landscape by dramatically improving producers’ access to higher-yielding, disease-resistant and high-quality seeds, according to a recent announcement from the nonprofit World Coffee Research. The group said Starmaya — developed through a collaboration between the global agroindustrial development and trading firm ECOM and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) — is the first F1 hybrid ever propagated by seed, rather than through biotechnology in a lab, marking a potential sea change in accessible coffee breeding.

Brazilian coffee merchants restated their ability to meet demand, even as data showed the country, coming close to losing top rank in exports to Vietnam – at least, temporarily – as robusta shipments fell to a multi-year low. Nelson Carvalhaes, president of exporters’ group Cecafé, said that Brazil’s ability to ship “close to 2.5m bags” of coffee last month, despite it bringing the carnival holidays “proves our competence to meet demand”.

Colombian coffee production reached multi-decade highs in February, as growers reaped rewards from a long-term replanting initiative aimed at cutting plantations’ vulnerability to the dangerous rust fungus. Colombia produced 1.29m 60-kg bags of arabica coffee in February, national coffee growers’ group Fedecafe said.
This is an increase of 18% year-on-year, and the biggest February production number in 35-years.

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