Coffee prices down on quality concerns

The Nairobi Coffee Exchange. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A roaster samples coffee at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

Coffee prices at the weekly Nairobi auction dropped 17 per cent in Tuesday’s sale, reversing a growth trend in the value of the commodity in the last one month.

Data from the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) showed that a 50 kilogramme bag of coffee traded at Sh19,467 on Tuesday, down from Sh23,587 that it fetched on average last week.

The price of the commodity has been increasing since the auction resumed from a one month recess in July, helped by quality beans from farmers in eastern Kenya, but the latest dip marks one of the major declines in value since July.

Coffee earnings as at the end of August 2017 increased 10 per cent resulting from high demand from roasters, according to NCE.

It said in a report that the crop earned Kenya Sh15.3 billion in the year ending August compared with Sh13.9 billion realised in corresponding period in 2016.

About 85 per cent of the Kenyan coffee is sold through the auction, with the remaining percentage sold directly to buyers overseas.

The government has been pushing for direct sales to to boost farmers’ earnings by removing middlemen.