It is hard to find anything positive to say about commodities exchange traded products and coffee exchange traded notes (ETNs) are not exceptions to that rule.
On more than double the average daily volume, the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index ETN (NYSEArca: JO) slid nearly 3% Thursday, sending the ETN into all-time low club and extending its 2015 losses to almost 31%. On its current pace, JO might need just a few more days before it entirely erases all of its 40.5% 2014 gain.
“Small markets like the $4.5 billion one for coffee futures often trade on an investment approach that uses chart- based technical indicators to guide prices, when news about real-world supply-and-demand fundamentals are infrequent. In coffee’s case, brokers and traders say the moves have been technically driven — and that the next support levels for it are far below the market’s current price,” according to Dow Jones Newswires.
Speaking of coffee technicals, Chris Kimble of Kimble Charting Solutions notes that JO’s potential violation of a dual support area could bring on a raft of additional selling pressure.
Since coffee beans are priced in U.S. dollars, Brazilian farmers are selling more abroad to capitalize off the strong U.S. dollar and weak real currency, even though coffee prices continue to decline. Brazil’s real hit a 12-year low on Thursday. Brazil is the largest exporter of coffee beans. According to the International Coffee Organization, world exports were at a record 111.7 million bags last year, with Brazilian shipments rising 15% to 36.3 million. [Bad News for Brazil ETFs]
Dow Jones notes a Brazilian crop of more than 50 million bags would bring added pressure to the coffee market.
As is usually the case in financial markets, where there are losers, there are also winners. Coffee’s decline is producing winners in the form of Dunkin’ Brands (NasdaqGS: DNKN) and Starbucks (NasdaqGS: SBUX), shares of which are up 27.4% and 38.8%, respectively, this year.
Chart Courtesy: Kimble Charting Solutions