Coffee…A Multi-year low is now in the Rear View

by Matthew Bradbard of RCM Asset Management

For the last five weeks a base has been building in March coffee futures just above the $1.05 level. Two significant developments this week we will see a settlement above the 20 day MA and with futures trading at their highest trade in seven weeks it appears we will get a  settlement above the down sloping trend line that had capped upside for the last seven months. Current trade has futures 3.50 cents below the 50 day MA (light blue line) which has not been penetrated in all of 2013. I expect that to play out in the coming weeks with my objective being the 38.2% Fibonacci level near $1.30 on this contract. The train is just leaving the station and I believe their is time to get on board. The seven year low that was reached in recent weeks may not been revisited for many years in my opinion.
The recent  appreciation has been accentuated by short covering and the idea that a near-term shortage of Robusta beans has the potential to drive up demand for Arabica. Growers in top Robusta producer Vietnam have been holding back their beans, waiting for higher prices…despite harvesting a bumper crop. That has lifted coffee prices on the Liffe to a near 3 1/2 month high. The gap between the two different blends narrowed last week to a five year low near 28 cents/lb. A rise in consumption is expected by 1.6% year over year in Arabica – the largest jump since 07-08′. Before getting too excited 14′ is expected to be the third year of surplus production so Bulls should take their profits on a spike higher in the coming weeks.