Kenyan Coffee Prices Advance 1.5% at Auction, Exchange Says

Kenyan coffee prices rose 1.5 percent at an auction yesterday as the supply of beans declined, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said.

The average price for all the coffee sold rose to $284.67 for a 50-kilogram (110-pound) bag, from $280.34 a week earlier, the bourse said today by e-mail.

The benchmark AA grade climbed 1 percent to an average $381.16 from $377.27 at the previous sale after supplies fell about 14 percent to 3,949 bags, the exchange said.

The rise in prices was marginal because the quality of the beans was lower and some of the major buyers weren’t active because they had covered their orders, Mansukh Shah, a coffee trader at the Nairobi-based Alanwood Ltd., said by phone.

“Prices were mixed with good grades fetching good prices while low grades attracted low prices,” he said. “Some of the big players weren’t in the market.”

Sales at the auction rose 2.8 percent to 8,117 bags worth $2.81 million from 7,896 bags valued at $2.69 million a week earlier, the exchange said.

Supplies of the beans at the 12th sale of 2011-12 season fell 9.9 percent to 24,702 bags, the agency said.

Kenya harvests the bulk of its crop from October through December, while a secondary crop is reaped from April to June. The nation, whose output slumped 13 percent to 36,629 metric tons in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, from 42,096 tons a year earlier, is yet to make a forecast for 2011-12, Isaac Muchomba, secretary of the Kenya Coffee Traders Association said on Jan. 17.

The following are details of yesterday’s auction in U.S. dollars for a 50-kilogram bag:

Grade          Low            High           Average
AA             257            491            381.16
AB             177            433            307.33
C              157            285            236.68
E              416            431            420.36
HE             198            216            201.74
MH             167            189            180.18
ML             107            128            122.42
PB             221            437            336.92
T              205            240            216.19
TT             218            319            245.53
UG             217            217            217.00
UG1            183            214            201.94
UG2            136            157            149.46
UG3            104            106            104.99

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