Value of Kenyan coffee up 13pc

The value of Kenyan coffee improved 13 per cent at this week’s auction helped by a fresh crop as well as a slight price rise at the New York Exchange.

A 50-kilogramme bag sold at Sh17,544 up from Sh15,504 during the last auction at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE).

The price is expected to improve in the coming days as the volume of coffee at the auction increases.

“There has been a big improvement in terms of price this week resulting from quality coffee that we are now getting from farmers,” said NCE chief executive Daniel Mbithi.

At the world’s largest coffee exchange in New York, where Kenya pegs its price, the value of coffee gained marginally to trade at 125 dollar cents a pound from 120 in the previous sale.

Farmers in central Kenya have started harvesting the main crop for this season but the process is being hampered by the ongoing rains that has seen less crop at the auction.

Prices at the auction had declined on account of low-quality beans in the last two months as the main crop from the eastern part of the country ended.

The move forced NCE to skip the weekly auction once in two weeks in order to accumulate enough stocks for trading. Mr Mbithi says normal trading will resume after next week as more coffee comes in.

The volume of coffee has been declining in the past years as farmers opt for other crops or convert their land to real estate because of low earnings from the produce.

Third quarter statistics recently released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicated that coffee volumes dropped to 2,634 tonnes from 3,424 tonnes in the first nine months of 2014.

Prices have, however, generally improved in recent years.