Coffee prices at the weekly Nairobi auction dropped seven per cent in last week’s sale after registering good performance in the previous sale. A report by Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) shows a 50-kilogramme bag traded at Sh20,909 down from an average Sh19,897. The price, however, is expected to improve in the coming sales after quality crop started trickling into the auction. It has been experiencing a shortage of good quality crop in recent days forcing the trading to be suspended to accumulate enough crop to sustain the sale. NCE chief executive Daniel Mbithi said the main crop from central Kenya has been hampered by rains. “We have started receiving coffee from the main crop, but we are yet to get significant volumes given that its supply has been affected by rainy weather, which has slowed drying of the produce,” said Mr Mbithi. READ: Coffee prices down on quality concerns Coffee earnings as at the end of August had increased 10 per cent resulting from high demand from roasters, according to the NCE. The NCE said the crop earned Kenya Sh15.3 billion in the year to August compared with Sh13.9 billion realised in corresponding period in 2016. About 85 per cent of the Kenyan coffee is sold through the auction with the balance sold directly to overseas buyers. The State has been pushing for direct sales to enable growers earn more by eliminating middlemen who exploit farmers when their crop goes through the auction.
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