The average price of coffee sold through the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) was up 20 per cent in the full year to September compared to the previous year, gaining from the effects of prolonged drought that hit output in key growing areas. A 50 kilogramme (kg) bag fetched an average Sh23,999 in the marketing season ended last month compared to Sh19,982 over a similar window the previous year, data by the auction managers showed. “This can be attributed to the short supply during the season,” said NCE chief executive Daniel Mbithi. The volume trade, however, fell to 34,092 tonnes in the ended 2016/17 season from 38,376 tonnes the previous year, an equivalent of 11.32 per cent drop. “The drop in production can be explained by the lower crop realised due to adverse weather conditions experienced across the coffee growing regions,” the official added. The higher prices boosted overall earnings despite the dip in volumes. The value of coffee sold through the auction in the year to September climbed to Sh16.39 billion from Sh15.33 billion the previous year, the NCE data showed. Coffee sold through the auction is normally packed in 60kg bags but the prices are quoted for quantities of 50kg. Kenya, whose high-quality beans are sought by roasters to blend with those of other producers, exports about 90 per cent of its coffee and the remainder is sold to foreign buyers directly.
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