Coffee sales frequency cut due to low supply
09 October 2012, 12:09
Nairobi - The country has reduced the frequency of its coffee auctions from weekly to every two weeks due to dwindling stocks levels, an industry official said on Tuesday.
The volume of crop offered for sale at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) has dropped to an average 10,000-20,000 bags per auction against an optimal 30,000 bags. At last week's sale, only 10,851 bags of coffee were offered for sale.
Supplies are often low at the start of Kenya's coffee season (Oct-Sept) but pick up as the season progresses, in line with the harvest cycle.
Although the east Africa nation is a small coffee producer compared with other producers globally like Brazil and Vietnam, its speciality beans are much sought after for blending with those from other producing countries.
"We expect this situation to continue until the new crop starts coming into the market around December to January," Charles Mbaluka, the chief executive of the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) told Reuters.
The east Africa nation has forecast its coffee export earnings will rise 5-10 percent in the 2011/12(Oct-Sept) season, helped by improved international prices.
The country earned around 26 billion Kenyan shillings ($306 24 million) from exports of the commodity in 2010/11, up from 16 billion a year earlier, statistics by the industry regulator Coffee Board of Kenya (CBK) showed. ($1=84 9000 Kenyan shillings)