Coffee prices stay high despite end of crop season


A coffee farmer tends her cash crop in Githiru Village, Nyeri. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Coffee prices have held steadily at the weekly auction despite the main crop season coming to an end, bucking the trend in a period normally characterised by low prices.

A 50-kilo bag of the commodity at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) traded at Sh22,248 in this week’s auction, a marginal decline from Sh22,600 in the previous sale held last week.

This season’s crop is coming to an end this month, with the auction expected to go for a one month recess in May.

“The prices are strong at the moment given that this season is nearly coming to an end and we are still recording prices of over $200,” said the NCE.

NCE attributed the impressive prices to high demand for coffee in the world market.

The price of the beverage in New York, where Kenya trades nearly all of its coffee, has been stable for some time with a bag of the commodity selling at 131 cents per pound this week from 126 cents last week.

The current crop at the auction has been coming from central Kenya, which is the main coffee producing zone in the country.

When the auction resumes after recess, it will receive the short crop from eastern and western Kenya with the main crop season expected to start again in November.

Coffee has enjoyed good prices since the beginning of the current crop year that started in October 2020.

The earnings grew by 92 per cent at the end of February compared with the same period last year as good price, high volumes and weak shilling pushed up the value.

NCE indicated that the crop earned Kenya Sh8.7 billion at the end of February, up from Sh4.5 billion that was realised in the same time last year.