Kenya’s coffee earnings nearly double on back of improved production, prices

KENYA – Kenya’s coffee earning for the month of January 2021 reached Ksh. 5 billion, a 94% rise from the Ksh2.6 billion attained in January 2020.

According to the Nairobi Coffee Exchange, the rise in earning is attributed to high demand for the country’s coffee in the global market and higher volumes traded at the auction.

During the month under review, cumulative 50kg bags traded rose by 8.81 percent to 132,149 bags from 121,447 bags in January 2020, with production having been spurred by an earlier picking of the main crop.

The lucrative earning was also boosted by higher prices and volumes, promising a good year for farmers who have suffered dwindling incomes in recent years.

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“There has been a very high demand now for Kenya coffee especially for the washed premium ones, which have seen the prices surge by an amazing 64.49 percent from an average of US$177.46 in January 2020 to US$291.91 per 50 kilogrammes,” said NCE chief executive Daniel Mbithi.

The commodity price has also been boosted by an increase in price at the New York Coffee Exchange, which plays an instrumental role in determining the value of Kenyan crop, reports Business Daily.

Global coffee production for 2019/20 is estimated at 168.55 million bags versus consumption of 167.59 million bags.

Last year, the crop earned the country Sh23.63 billion (US$216 million), as per latest data from the Central Bank of Kenya, up from Sh22.43 billion (US$205 million) in 2019.

Meanwhile in neighbouring Uganda, the country’s total coffee export in 2020, January – December amounted to 5,492,525 bags of coffee each weighing 60kg fetching US$ 515.94 million.

According to a report by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), this was a 21.53% rise in quantity compared to the previous year’s 4,519,563 bags, valued at US$ 436.54 million, indicating a 18.19% increase.

Uganda being one of the leading coffee exporters in the region, closed the year with exports in December 2020 amounting to 422,922 bags worth US$ 37.78 million.

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This was a decline from November’s US$38.61 million earned from trade of 519,683 bags.

However, year-on-year comparison have indicated it was an increase of 28.06% and 9.42% in quantity and value respectively compared to December 2019.

Global coffee production for 2019/20 is estimated at 168.55 million bags versus consumption of 167.59 million bags.

Exports for the first 2 months of 2020/21 coffee year (October-November 2020) increased by 6.5% to 20.20 million bags from 18.97 million bags the previous period (October November 2019/ 2020).

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