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Commodities

Coffee price rises 17pc on improved quality from central Kenya

worker prunes coffee
A worker prunes coffee at a farm in Nyeri last August. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI 

The price of Kenyan coffee jumped 17 percent in the second sale of the year, buoyed by quality beans and high demand at the auction.

A market report by the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) indicates a 50-kilogramme bag of coffee on average fetched Sh22,927 up from Sh19,493. Kenya’s main grades recorded an increase in value from the previous sale with topmost grade selling for Sh31,700 bag from Sh29,391. Grade AB sold at Sh22,725 up from Sh18,786 last week.

“We have witnessed an increase in price this week resulting from high-quality coffee that we are now getting at the auction,” said Daniel Mbithi, NCE Chief Executive.

The auction has been grappling with the shortage of coffee since the beginning of the crop year in October 2019 but the new crop, mainly from central Kenya, has boosted the trading, with the auction resuming weekly sales after it was suspended due to scarcity. Low volume of the crop at the auction has been occasioned by delays in the harvesting of the main season coffee in central Kenya due to rains. This has helped keep up the price of the beverage as buyers’ scrambled for available quantities.

Mr Mbithi said the price may not hold for long because the price of the commodity in New York Exchange has dropped from 140 cents a pound at the close of last year to 111.

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Mr Mbithi said there was high demand at the auction on Tuesday as buyers restocked.

“Were also envisioning a situation where the prices will fall after the buyers get enough quantities for stocking, hence pulling down the demand,” he said.

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