KENYA – The price of coffee at the New York Coffee exchange rose to 138 dollar cents per pound this week from 124 cents last week, helping the local price to register good performance at the local auction.

On average, the price of a 50 kilogramme bag of coffee fetched Sh18,500 this week up from Sh17,300 in last week’s Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) auction.

NCE chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi said the good international prices coupled with high quality coffee have played a significant role in boosting sales at the auction.

“The international prices at the New York Exchange have improved and that is why we are witnessing improved prices locally,” said Mr Mbithi.

Traders at the NCE peg their prices to the New York exchange given that over 90 per cent of the crop is exported.

Mr Mbithi said the auction was receiving high quality crop from eastern Kenya as well as the central parts of the country.

“We are receiving main crop from eastern part of the country as well as an early crop from the central Kenya and its good quality. This has played a major role in earning farmers good returns for their commodity,” he said.

The value of the two premium grades improved during this week’s sales with grade AA rising by six per cent to sell at Sh23,800 from Sh22,240 last month.

Grade AB went up by 9.7 per cent to fetch Sh21,400 from Sh19,500 of the previous week.

The volume of coffee traded on Tuesday dropped to 580,429 from 668,823 during last week’s auction. However, NCE said it expects more coffee in the coming weeks.

The trading at the auction has also received a boost from new players who have raised the demand of coffee at the weekly auctions.

Kenya coffee is in high demand, mainly in the UK and the US, with traders buying it for blending with lower quality beans from different parts of the world.

Last month, the price of coffee had declined by eight per cent, which was the biggest drop since the auction resumed from a one-month break.

August 14, 2015;–/-/539552/2831818/-/159h7ea/-/index.html