The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has met with London-based exchange NYSE Liffe to discuss coffee delivery delays which have infuriated trade houses and roasters trying to get supplies out of warehouses in Antwerp.
The FSA is contemplating an investigation into Liffe following complaints from the coffee industry that the exchange is failing to meet its mandate as supplier of last resort, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The FSA declined to comment.
A spokesman for NYSE Liffe, which is regulated by the FSA, said: As our regulators, we're in dialogue with the FSA on a regular basis, on all market matters.
The European Coffee Federation (ECF) contacted Liffe earlier this year about the rate at which warehouses release coffee, which is often slower than they take it in.
The exchange wrote letters to both the ECF and the European Warehousekeepers Federation (EWF) in recent weeks, urging the organisations to resolve the delivery delays on certified robusta coffee or the exchange will introduce a minimum movement out requirement.
Warehouses can move out around 200 tonnes of coffee per day, at times a tiny fraction of stocks which can run into tens of thousands of tonnes, industry sources said.
Two proposals are now being considered to resolve the coffee delivery delays, one drawn up by the exchange and the other by the EWF, sources familiar with the matter said earlier this week.
(Editing by James Jukwey)