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Kenya benchmark coffee price drops at auction

WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2013 10:43 AM GMT

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The top price of Kenya's benchmark coffee grade AA slid to $275 per 50-kg bag at this week's auction from $315 at last week's, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) said.

The east African nation is a small producer of the commodity but its speciality beans meet high demand from roasters who blend it with coffees from other nations.

Some 22,094 bags were offered at auction on Tuesday and 6,868 bags were bought, NCE said, pointing to demand inching up after only 5,338 out of 18,258 bags of coffee offered the previous week got buyers.

The coffee sold this week had a total value of $1 million with an average price of $120.54 per bag for all the grades, down from an average price per bag of $153.41 last week.

Earnings from coffee sold through Kenya's weekly auction fell by more than a third in the first half of the growing season as poor quality beans and low international prices weighed, casting doubt on full-year targets for the crop.

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