Coffee prices jump as trading resumes with high demand


A farmer in Tuiyo, Kapseret Constituency of Uasin Gishu County during harvesting of ripe berries on September 25, 2021. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG

Coffee prices at the auction jumped by $83 (Sh9,711) in the first sale since the trading resumed from recess on the back of high demand from roasters.

Data from the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) indicates that the price of coffee rose to $265 (Sh31,000) from $182 (Sh21,294) that was recorded in the last sale before the auction took a one-month break.

NCE chief executive Daniel Mbithi said the high demand was pushed by traders who sought to restock after nearly running out of stocks after the auction took a break.

“There was high demand for coffee during the sale with some traders not even getting whatever they wanted because of low supplies,” he said.

Mr Mbithi said the auction did not get more quality coffee during the sale but the price was favoured by good demand.

Normally high-quality coffee is what drives up the prices at the auction.

“We had a mixed quality catalogue of coffee at the auction but that notwithstanding, we recorded an impressive price because of high demand by roasters,” he said.

The coffee auction went on recess in May as the main crop season came to an end, creating a shortage at the weekly trading.

The auction now is expecting to receive the new crop of coffee from eastern and western Kenya, which will sustain the trading up to November when the main season produce is expected at the market.

Kenya has been expanding the planting of coffee to non-traditional growing regions such as Kitale and Eldoret to boost productivity in the wake of declining production.

The country exports most of its coffee as cleaned beans. It exports only five percent roasted coffee.

Kenya is seeking to raise the amount of coffee, which is locally roasted, by five to 10 percent annually over the next five years, although concerns remain over falling yields and reduced acreage under the cash crop.

Productivity of coffee per bush has dropped from 10 kilogrammes in the 1980s to two kilogrammes currently.

[email protected]