Commodities

Coffee prices ease on lower top grade value

mbithi

Nairobi Coffee Exchange chief executive Daniel Mbithi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The lower value was attributed to a decline in quality of the premium grade bean, which normally plays a crucial role in lifting the end price.
  • NCE chief executive Daniel Mbithi said that despite the price fall, the value of Kenyan coffee remains impressive and should rebound imminently.

Coffee prices at the weekly auction fell last week on the back of a 30 percent drop on composition of Kenya’s top-grade product during the sale.

A market report from the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) indicates the commodity fetched Sh32,508 ($301) for a 50-kilo bag on average from Sh33,696 ($312) that was recorded in the previous sale.

The lower value was attributed to a decline in quality of the premium grade bean, which normally plays a crucial role in lifting the end price.

NCE chief executive Daniel Mbithi said that despite the price fall, the value of Kenyan coffee remains impressive and should rebound imminently.

“The decline is negligible as the prices are still stable,” Mr Mbithi told the Business Daily.

The auction has been running intermittently because of a shortage of beans in the market occasioned by wet and cold weather that has hampered drying in factories.

However, the supply is now picking up with the bags offered for sale this week coming in at more than 12,000, which is the minimum quantity required by the exchange to enable the auction to take place.

Global prices are also high, which has helped Kenyan coffee to fetch more at the weekly sale.

Currently, the price of coffee at the New York Exchange, which is used as a benchmark for all the world prices, is at a high of over 200 cents per pound from 144 cents in April when the auction was going for its last recess.

In the first half of this year, coffee exports earned the country Sh16.4 billion ($149 million), an 18 percent increase from the Sh13.8 billion ($126 million) the cash crop fetched in the first half of 2020.

The crop coming to the auction at the moment is being supplied from Eastern and parts of western Kenya and it is supposed to run the auction all the way to November when the main season’s produce is expected to get to the market.