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High quality beans boost coffee prices by 24pc in one week

Nairobi Coffee Exchange, Daniel Mbithi
Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya’s coffee prices continued to rally at the auction, registering a remarkable improvement this week with a 24 per cent increase occasioned by good beans.

The average price of a 50 kilogramme bag rose to Sh24,442 from Sh19,666 in last week’s sale.

The value of the local commodity has defied the falling internationally prices that have been trending down since December last year to settle at a 13-year low of US cents 102 a pound from a high of 124.

Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi says the prices have been occasioned by increased volumes of good coffee.

“This remarkable increase is attributed to good coffee that is coming in from farmers, which has boosted the value despite low prices internationally,” said Mr Mbithi (left).

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The NCE says the prices are expected to hold in the next two months as the main crop from central Kenya continues to get into the market.

“We anticipate that the current prices will stay for the next two months if the quality coming is consistent,” he said.

The price of coffee had dipped in November and early December resulting from 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 December as the short-term beans from eastern Kenya fizzled out.

Depressed earnings in 2018 were occasioned by low international 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.

Average prices also reduced from Sh23,300 to Sh20,000 a 50-kilogramme bag in the year to October 2018, compared with the previous season last year.

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