Coffee earnings nearly double to Sh10.2bn in January 2022

Monthly coffee earnings nearly doubled to $90.4 million (Sh10.2 billion) in January as Kenya benefited from high global prices in the market occasioned by a shortage of the produce.

Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) said the earnings jumped 90 percent from $47.5 million (Sh5.3 billion) in the corresponding month a year earlier, helped by a shortage of the produce in the market caused by frost in Brazil that affected production at the world’s leading producer.

The good earnings were also boosted by growth in volumes, which was 64 percent higher in the review period when compared with the previous season.

“The higher volumes offered coupled with the good prices witnessed saw the value of the coffees traded almost doubled,” said NCE chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi.

The number of 60 kilogramme bags traded continued to surge from 132,149 in January 2021 to 217,034 in the review period.

The average price of the commodity in the review period hit a high of $338 (Sh38,363) for a 50 kilo bag from an average of $291 (Sh33,028) in corresponding period last year.

Brazil, which is the top world supplier, produces up to 60 million kilos of the beverage every year but the harsh weather conditions saw the Latin American nation lose up to 20 percent of its entire crop in the last season.

This created a shortage in the world market as Ethiopia also, the world’s fifth largest producer, saw farming activities interrupted by the conflict between the government and the militia in the Tigray region. This resulted in lower supply to the global market.

International prices in New York, which is a benchmark for coffee prices globally have also remained high, coming as a major boost for local prices.

Favourable weather conditions in Kenya saw a marked increase on the volume of coffee offered through the auction which increased to 13.3 million kilos in January 2022 when compared with 8.1 million kilos in the same period the year before.

The Central Bank of Kenya had last year forecast a rise in the price of local coffee in the international market following cases of frost in Brazil.