Coffee prices fall further on poor quality of berries

Coffee prices continued on a downward trend in the latest auction due to poor quality berries and low prices at the New York exchange.

Price of the commodity at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) dropped from Sh16,218 to Sh15,198 per 50-kilogramme bag.

At the world’s largest auction in New York, the price of coffee declined from 130 dollar cents a pound in this week’s auction to 117 dollar cents.

NCE chief executive Daniel Mbithi says the quality of coffee received and the slump in global prices have affected the price of the local commodity.

“We are still getting low quality coffee and the price of the commodity in New York has been dropping — these are the two factors that we are attributing to for the low prices,” said Mr Mbithi.

He said the auction is receiving the last batch of crop from eastern Kenya as the main coffee season of the region comes to an end though.

“We are optimistic that the price could improve in the coming weeks as we are waiting for the main crop from central Kenya in the next three weeks,” he said.

The CEO said some of the millers have started receiving high quality coffee for milling, though in small quantities because the ongoing rains have hindered drying of the crop.

This comes amidst a global report from the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) released this month indicating global coffee prices would hit a 20-month low in September, partly negatively affected by the currency volatility.

ICO said further volatility in the price of the beverage could be provoked by the anticipated El Niño rainfall.