Coffee value falls by Sh2.5b at Nairobi Coffee Exchange auction

Friday, June 5th, 2020 00:00 |
Coffee beverage. Photo/Courtesy

The value of clean coffee sold through Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) declined by Sh2.5 billion last month following disruption by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Market data released this week by NCE management indicated that due to the drastic drop in the volume of coffee traded at the exchange, the value went down by 24.19 per cent to $73,996,257.82 (Sh7.8 billion) as at end of May compared to $97,604,430.80 (Sh10.3 billion) the same period last year.  

NCE Chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi said despite the increased effects of Covid-19, prices surged by 12.19 percentage points from $164.08 (Sh17,392.48) in May 2019 to $184.08 (19,512.48) per 50kg last month.

The volume traded as at end of May dipped by 32.84 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, he added.

Mbithi said volumes decreased to 326,383 kilos as end of last month compared to 485,962 kg offered for sale as at end of May 2019.

“The cause for the drop might be due to the disruptions at the trading floor in March due the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced some marketing agents to sell some of the coffee through other channels,” he added.

Introduction of safety measures by Ministry of Health prompted the closure of the auction hall on March 31 and traders have been conducting trading online. 

The only ongoing activity at the exchanges offices on Haile Selassie road has been presentation of coffee samples which require less people.   

Mbithi said despite the disturbances caused by the novel Covid-19 disease, the exchange was able to pick up on trading online through google sheets. 

“We have, however, been able to establish a substantive online trading platform which is ready for use after the auction break expected to end on July 7,” he added.

The auction went on recess from last week until July 7, when a smaller secondary crop, called the fly crop, is expected to start streaming into the market.

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