Quality beans raise coffee prices as international market slows down

 Daniel Mbithi
Nairobi Coffee Exchange chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya’s coffee prices continued to rally at the auction amid a depressed market internationally. On average, the price of a 50-kilo bag rose to Sh19,695 from a low of Sh18,666 in previous week’s trading.

Internationally, the price of the beverage has slumped since December to settle at a low of US cents 102 per pound from a high of 124.

Nairobi Coffee Exchange chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi says the good prices reflect availability of quality beans in the market.

“We are witnessing improved performance at the auction despite low prices internationally. Basically, the good price here is resulting from good coffee that we are getting from farmers,” said Mr Mbithi.

NCE says the prices are expected to rally in the coming sales as the main crop from central Kenya starts hitting the market.

The price of coffee dipped in November and early December resulting from the low-quality crop.

However, it rebounded mid last month boosted by quality produce from western Kenya.

According to the auction, the main crop from central Kenya started trickling in the market in December as the short-term beans from eastern Kenya fizzled out.

Depressed earnings in 2018 were occasioned by low prices in the world market where Kenya sells most of its produce.

Despite an increase in the volume of coffee traded at the auction in 2017/2018 crop year, the value of the produce declined 8.78 per cent to Sh14.5 billion from Sh15.9 billion.