Coffee earnings have declined by Sh12.5 billion in eight months to May, highlighting low volumes caused by the closure of the auction by the government as a measure to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
According to data from Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE), the crop brought in Sh7.8 billion in the eight months to May compared to Sh10.3 billion the previous year within the same period.
The NCE chief executive Daniel Mbithi says the drop in earnings resulted from the decline of volumes, which saw a fall of 32 percent. The volumes were down from 485,962 bags of 60 kilos to 326,383 bags kilos due to market disruptions.
“Due to the drastic drop in the volume of coffee traded at the exchange, the value also went down by 24.19 percent,” he said.
“The cause for the drop might be due to the disruptions a the trading floor in March 2020 by the Ministry of Health due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced some marketing agents to sell some of the coffee through other marketing channels.”
The coffee and tea auctions have two months to migrate to digital platforms a move set to protect the market from the disruptions witnessed this year from coronavirus.