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HomeBusinessHigher prices lift March coffee earnings 67pc

Higher prices lift March coffee earnings 67pc


Commodities

Higher prices lift March coffee earnings 67pc

A coffee farmer tends her cash crop in Githiru Village, Nyeri. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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Summary

  • Coffee earnings grew by 67 percent in March compared with similar period last year backed by high demand, volumes and weaker shilling.
  • The Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) said that the commodity earned Kenya Sh11.2 billion last month, compared to Sh6.7 billion that was realised in March 2020.
  • The first quarter of this year has seen significantly higher prices compared to last year’s raising expectations that farmers earnings will go up this year.

Coffee earnings grew by 67 percent in March compared with similar period last year backed by high demand, volumes and weaker shilling.

The Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) said that the commodity earned Kenya Sh11.2 billion last month, compared to Sh6.7 billion that was realised in March 2020.

The first quarter of this year has seen significantly higher prices compared to last year’s raising expectations that farmers earnings will go up this year.

NCE chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi said the improved earnings resulted from high demand of the Kenyan coffee and high volumes at the auction.

“There has been high demand for Kenyan coffee, especially for the washed premium ones, which have seen the prices go up,” said Mr Mbithi.

The total number of 50kg bags traded in the review period rose by seven per cent to 291,810 from 271,880 in March 2020 after production was spurred by an early picking of the main crop.

Subsequently, the average price went up to Sh30,484 as at end of last month, from Sh20,952 for a 50-kilo bag in the corresponding period in the previous year.

The commodity price has also been boosted by an increase in price at the New York Coffee Exchange, which is key in determining the value of the Kenyan crop.

The price of the beverage in New York, where Kenya trades nearly all of its coffee, has been stable for some time with a bag of the commodity selling at 131 cents per pound this week from 126 cents last week.

Main crop boost

The increase in volumes in the review period was occasioned by the onset of main crop harvesting in central part of the country.

Coffee prices have remained strong since the beginning of the current quarter at the weekly auction despite the main crop season coming to an end, bucking the trend in a period normally characterised by low prices.

This season’s crop is coming to an end this month, with the auction expected to go for a one month recess in May.

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