Kenya’s earnings from coffee dropped by Sh700 million in 10 months to July compared with the same period last year, on account of low international prices.
Market data from Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) indicates the value of coffee dropped from Sh13.8 billion last year in July to Sh13.1 billion in the period under review, representing a 5.2 per cent decline.
“The low price was precipitated by low international prices that plummeted to a low of 107 cents per pound from 120 cents per pound” says Daniel Mbithi, chief executive officer NCE.
Mr Mbithi said the move affected the average price at the auction with a 50 kilogramme bag dropping from Sh23,600 previously to Sh21,000 in July.
Kenya sells more than 95 per cent of its entire coffee to the New York Coffee Exchange, making it vulnerable to international prices.
The volumes offered for sale increased to 31 million kilos during the review period from 29 million kilos in corresponding period last year.
The country seeks to revive the once vibrant crop with the formation of Kenya Coffee Platform, an initiative that brings value chain players together to develop a common approach and strategy to address the issues affecting the industry in the country.
Kenya is also seeking to raise the amount of coffee roasted locally from five to 10 per cent annually over the next five years.
Farmers can however look forward to better earnings going forward, with prices rising after the auction resumed from recess last month due to improved bean quality as the short-term crop from Eastern Kenya starts getting to the market.
The main crop from farmers, which mainly comes from central Kenya, is expected at the auction later in the year.
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