Cote d'Ivoire robusta coffee is being moved from European warehouses to the United States by American trading house J. Aron, trade sources said here.
J. Aron, a division of Goldman Sachs, had taken a long position for September in the coffee futures market, and took delivery of most of the robustas when the contracts expired Sept. 30, trading sources said."Nobody knows the exact tonnage or where it's going, but there is certainly Ivorian coffee being shipped," one trade source said.
Officials at J. Aron here and in New York declined to comment.
Speculation on the tonnage shipped to the United States ranges from 2,000 tons to 10,000 tons. However, most traders agree that around 4,000 tons has been moved.
Trade sources noted that the U.S. market normally prefers Brazilian conillon-quality robustas. However, there are fears that the 1991-1992 Brazilian crop quality will be poorer than usual and robusta stocks in the United States are reported to be very low.
"So far, a large percentage of conillons have not yet been shipped to the U.S. because the Brazilians fear the U.S. authorities will reject the coffee due to its poor quality," one trade source said.
Trade sources said it was cost effective at the moment to move coffee from European warehouses to the United States, probably to New York or New Orleans.
Sales of Ivorian 1991-1992 coffee crops started three months ago, much earlier than usual, and traders said there was no longer much coffee available directly from origin.