Top coffee price drops at auction
09 October 2013, 10:53
Nairobi - The top price of Kenya's benchmark coffee fell heavily at auction on Tuesday, tracking a poor performing global coffee market and reflecting low quality supplies, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) said on Wednesday.
The top price of grade AA coffee grade fell to $300 per 50-kg bag at auction on Tuesday from $405 per bag at the last sale two weeks ago, the NCE said.
Kenya is a relatively small coffee grower compared with other producers, but its speciality coffee is known for its quality and is much in demand from roasters who blend it with coffees from other nations.
NCE said Grade AA sold at $300-$141 per bag, compared with $405-$154 previously. Grade AB fetched $199-$135 per bag, compared with $221-$138 previously.
"The global market is not doing well in terms of pricing and that is reflecting here," said Daniel Mbithi, the chief executive of NCE. "Besides, we are receiving low quality supplies as farmers clear their old stock."
NCE said 16,799 bags of coffee were offered, with 3,347 sold at an average price of 149.54 per bag, earning a total of $0.6 million. At the last auction, 10,836 bags of coffee were offered, and 3,465 sold at an average price of $168.30 per bag.
AA grade coffee was selling at more than $500 a bag in late March and the start of April when sales tend to peak in the harvest cycle. The grade refers to size and density, rather than bean quality.