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Tanzania’s Top Coffee Grade Retreats as Supplies Increase

March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Tanzania’s benchmark coffee fell 0.2 percent at an auction on March 1 after supplies increased, the Tanzania Coffee Board said.

The average price for the benchmark arabica AA grade dropped to $233.23 per 50 kilograms (110 pounds) from $233.70 a week earlier, the board said today by e-mail from Moshi, in northern Tanzania. Supplies of the grade jumped 31 percent to 2,623 bags, it said.

Overall prices at the auction eased $13.40 per 50 kilograms for mild arabicas and $4.15 for robustas because of declining quality of the beans as the nation draws closer to the end of the season, it said. The board won’t hold an auction this week because of a drop in supplies, it said.

Supplies of the beans retreated 11 percent to 9,779 bags from a week earlier, while sales fell 48 percent to 4,670 bags, it said. The board supplies and sells the beans in 60-kilogram bags, but costs the beans in 50-kilogram sacks. 

Production for this marketing season, which started July 1 and closes June 30, may fall to 37,000 metric tons from the July 14 forecast of 45,000 tons, Adolph Kumburu, the board’s director general, said Jan. 30.

The following are details of the March 1 auction in U.S. dollars for a 50-kilogram bag for higher-quality grades:  

Grade           Offer   Sold    High     Low   Average
Arabica AA      2,623     684   256.20    182   233.23
Arabica A         483      25   215       215   215.00
Arabica AB      3,379   1,469   236.80    180   220.28
Arabica B         590     232   215       160   210.77
Arabica PB        618     238   226       160   211.68
Arabica C         614     500   205.80    165   183.07
Arabica FAQ       369     264   168       168   168.00
Robusta Superior  145     136    88        85    86.13

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at

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