Kenyan coffee exports nearly doubled to 2,685 tonnes in January on demand for the larger quantities of quality crops from the main October-December production season in Kenya.

Kenyan Coffee Experiencing Huge Export Boom as Demand Rises

The performance marks a rebound in the performance of exports of the commodity which had fallen to 1,478 tonnes in December, the lowest monthly level since January 1999.

Kenya’s coffee is marketed through the direct exports window or the main Nairobi Coffee Exchange channel.

The latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that the revenues earned by the commodity rose 72 percent from the Sh1.2 billion posted in December to Sh2.1 billion in January.

“The quantity of exported coffee increased from 1,478.3 tonnes in December 2023 to 2,685.8 tonnes in January 2024, with a corresponding increase in value from Sh1.2 billion to Sh2.1 billion,” KNBS said in the latest updates.

The rise in exports came as the price of Kenyan coffee in the international markets dropped marginally by five percent to Sh786,402 per tonne, down from Sh829,105 per tonne in December.

Kenya’s coffee is much sought after by roasters and blenders and the country sells its coffee to the world market. The international prices are used as a benchmark for the local price at the NCE.

The sector is, however, limping and requires a revamp as more farmers abandoned the crop for better rewarding ventures such as real estate and avocado farming. The State is currently battling to curb the slump amid concerns that the once thriving coffee sub-sector had lost its shine, with production declining from 130,000 tonnes to an average of 40,000.

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The State is currently pushing on with reforms to reverse this slump. The campaign has proposed a raft of restructurings that include the introduction of a direct settlement system aimed at realising expedited and transparent payment of coffee sales proceeds.

The drive is also seeking to push the enactment of the Coffee Bill 2023 which proposes to reorganise the industry by transitioning the regulatory and commercial roles currently undertaken by the Agriculture and Food Authority to the Coffee Board of Kenya.

Further, the legislative proposal also aims at transitioning the research on coffee currently undertaken by the Coffee Research Institute under the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation to the Coffee Research Institute.

By VINCENT OWINO: More by this Author

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