Market News

Nairobi Coffee Exchange shut again due to inadequate stock

NCE chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
NCE chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) suspended the auction this week, less than a fortnight after it resumed from a one-month break, citing supply shortfall.

NCE chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi said the auction was postponed due to inadequate coffee to sustain trading last Tuesday.

Mr Mbithi said there was a significant reduction of coffee by farmers from the eastern part of the country. The region is currently supposed to be supplying the auction with quality beans.

Mr Mbithi said the auction will resume on August 15 after the General Election if it receives enough stock.

“We did not conduct the auction yesterday (Tuesday) because we did not get enough coffee for trading,” said Mr Mbithi.

The new crop from eastern Kenya helped to push up the price last week to Sh20,703 for 50kg bag from Sh15,965 during the last sale held in May before the break.

The auction took a break on May 23 as the main crop from Central Kenya came to an end, leading to a sharp decline in the quality of coffee on offer.

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

The government has been pushing for direct sales to enable growers earn more by eliminating the middlemen who exploit farmers at the auction.