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Coffee prices drop by 7pc at Nairobi auction

The average price of Kenyan coffee declined by seven per cent to Sh24,998 ($249.98) in the last five months compared to Sh26,879 ($268.79) same period in the previous coffee season.

A five month auction report of October to February released yesterday by Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) indicates that accumulated volume traded during the sale was at about four per cent lower compared to the same period last season.

Daniel Mbithi, NCE chief executive officer said the decline was due to the prolonged wet weather towards the end of last year when the main crop is usually received at the market.

“The value went much lower to about 10 per cent compared with the same period last season. This was caused by the international prices that have continued to be low for the last two years, moving from a high of Sh330 to Sh264,” he said.

This, he said, has rendered the average prices to move from $268.79 to $249.98 per 50kg, a seven per cent drop. Mbithi said that during the review period all the coffee grades mainly the premium grades registered a drop as well.

For example, grade AA fetched the highest price of Sh67,900 ($679) last month, although it was a decrease of 9.6 per cent compared to Sh75,100 ($751) recorded in a similar period in 2017/18 coffee season.

NCE stated that 50,756 bags of Grade AA were sold during the five months. During the period in review bags of clean coffee declined to 264,497 bags from 275,991bags sold by February last year.

“Value of coffee traded during the period under review dropped to Sh8 billion from Sh9 billion,” Mbithi said. Most of the clean coffee fetching premium prices were delivered from Mt Kenya region.

Some of the farmers’ co-operative societies that fetched the highest prices during the review period included Gititu Society in Kiambu County, Kiangai and Karimikui in Kirinyaga County and Aguthi in Nyeri County.

The period of high prices according to NCE is expected to continue up to the end of this month. While harvest of early crop is expected to start in the next two months in lower eastern and parts of Mt. Kenya. Kenya clean coffee is reputed for fetching high prices in the international market compared to robusta coffee largely grown in Uganda.

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