Kenya's coffee crop shows promise after rain | Fin24
 
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Kenya's coffee crop shows promise after rain

Jul 15 2016 21:15
Fred Ojambo

Kampala - Kenya, Africa’s third-biggest arabica-coffee producer, may get a bumper harvest later this year as rains in key growing areas boost yields.

The country is getting good rains, which will improve yields for the harvest from September to December, said Mansukh Shah, managing director of Alanwood, a Nairobi-based trading house.

Rains have been favourable this year in top-growing areas of Mount Kenya, Machakos and Central Province and bean size and quality will be good, he said.

“We are expecting a good harvest both for the early crop and the main harvest from September to December,” Kizito Keya, a coffee trader for Mombasa, Kenya-based Mumba Coffee, said by phone from Nairobi.

Targeting production

While Kenya isn’t a major producer of beans globally, a large harvest would boost supplies at a time when prices are the highest in more than a year.

Arabica, the type favoured for speciality drinks such as those made by Starbucks, has rallied as low exchange inventories attract investment from funds.

Speculators have the biggest bullish bet since 2014, US government data show.

Shah and Keya didn’t give estimates for the harvest size. Grenville Kiplimo Melli, the interim director at Kenya’s Coffee Directorate, also didn’t provide an output forecast for next season.

In September, Melli said this season’s output may climb 18% to 45 000 metric tons and that the nation is targeting production of as much as 100 000 tons within five years.

kenya  |  agriculture  |  companies
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