The value of Kenya's coffee declined by Sh65 million in this week’s auction as the market continues to witness lower quality beans from the farmers.
A transaction list from the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) indicates that the value dropped from Sh378 million in the previous auction two weeks ago to Sh313 million this week.
The decline is attributed to depreciating quality of coffee that is coming in from farms, even as the quantities remained low.
The lower volumes have seen NCE skip a week of trading in order to accumulate enough volumes to enable the auction to be conducted.
There was no trading last week for this reason.
“The decline is purely attributed to lower volumes that we are currently getting from farmers,” said an NCE official.
The auction resumed from recess two months ago after closing for a month when the main crop season from central Kenya came to an end.
At the moment the auction is getting crop from parts of eastern and western Kenya with the main crop season expected to hit the market from December.
The current prices are somehow higher when compared with the previous cost before the auction went on recess.
Coffee earnings dropped by Sh2.5 billion in eight months to May on account of low volumes as the quantities offered at the trading floor was impacted by the closure of the auction floor by the Health ministry as a mitigation measure to curb Covid-19. The coffee year begins in October.
NCE data indicated that the cash crop fetched Sh7.8 billion in the review period, down from Sh10.3 billion in the same period last year.
The decline in earnings resulted from a sharp drop in volumes, which were down 32 percent compared with the previous period.