Tanzania’s Benchmark Coffee Price Climbs as Stocks Decline

Tanzania’s benchmark coffee price advanced 11 percent at an auction on March 10 amid lower supplies, the Tanzania Coffee Board said.

The average price of the top arabica AA grade rose to $327.93 per 50-kilogram (110-pound) bag, from $294.14 two weeks earlier, the board said in an e-mailed statement today. Supplies of the grade fell 51 percent to 1,218 bags, it said. Prices of other grades rose as stocks declined and global prices improved, the board said.

“We’re very close to the end of the season and there’s been mixed quality,” said William Harris, managing director of coffee trader Taylor Winch (Tanzania) Ltd., by phone from the northern city of Moshi. “The rise in prices was both because of higher prices in New York, and some good quality beans here.”

Tanzania reaps its crop from April through August. Arabica accounts for 75 percent of the country’s output, with robusta making up for the rest. Output in the 12 months through June may rise 54 percent to 55,000 tons because of improved weather, Adolph Kumburu, the board’s director general, said on Aug. 3.

Total supplies at the 28th auction of the 2010-11 season fell 12 percent, while sales dropped 18 percent to 10,038 bags, according to the board’s statement.

The following are details of the March 10 auction in U.S. dollars for a 50-kilogram bag for the good grades:

Grade             Offer   Sold    High     Low         Average
Arabica AA        1,218   953     350      224.80      327.93
Arabica A         2,031   1,446   342      235         317.29
Arabica B         3,203   2,511   328      259.20      303.62
Arabica PB        678     611     314      224         284.88
Arabica C         683     575     309.80   248         293.79
Arabica FAQ       720     720     193.20   185.20      189.20
Robusta Superior  1,227   1,227   127      105         119.18
Robusta FAQ       2,009   2,009   126      99.80       117.08

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala via Nairobi on email hidden; JavaScript is required

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