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Kenya Coffee Prices Decline by 15% at Last Sale on Quality

Kenyan coffee prices fell 15 percent at the last auction of 2010-11 today after global prices slumped amid declining bean quality, the Nairobi Coffee Auction said.

The average price for all the coffee sold fell to $280.04 per 50-kilogram (110-pound) bag, from $327.91 a week earlier, the exchange said in an e-mailed statement today.

The benchmark AA grade rose 3.4 percent to an average of $459.99 a bag from $444.77 last week after supplies declined 50 percent to 374 bags, the exchange said.

“The marked decline in prices was caused by a fall in global prices,” David Muriithi, the exchange’s acting chief executive, said by phone from Nairobi, the capital. Declining quality and a weakening currency also affected prices, he said.

Sales at the auction fell 22 percent to 6,353 bags valued at $2.2 million from 8,132 bags worth $3.3 million last week, the exchange said. Supplies of the beans at the auction rose to 12,882 bags from 12,796 bags at the last sale.

Kenya’s coffee production in the 12 months through September may decline 27 percent 40,000 metric tons from a previous forecast of 49,000 to 55,000 tons, James Wahome, the quality manager at the Coffee Board of Kenya, said on Jan. 17. The country produced 45,000 tons last season.

The country harvests the bulk of its crop from October through December, while a secondary crop is reaped from April to June.

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

Grade              Low            High                Average
AA                 359            492                459.99
AB                 170            422                365.86
C                  127            342                287.25
MH                 154            244                198.96
ML                  74            172                127.87
PB                 258            410                364.78
SB                  55             56                 55.43
T                  118            261                204.82
TT                 240            379                303.25
UG1                192            269                240.61
UG2                143            266                245.35
UG3                108            120                115.44

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