Tanzania coffee prices mix

Tanzanian coffee prices were mixed at the first auction of the 2009/10 crop season, with top grades easing but demand for the beans cushioning them from a further slide, traders said on Tuesday.

The state-run Tanzania Coffee Board said 23,886 60-kg bags were offered at the auction, and 22,330 of them were sold. At the last sale, held on June 4 before the auction took a break, 2,032 60-kg bags were offered, with 1,496 sold.

Benchmark grade AA sold at $139.00-$156.00 per 50-kg bag, compared with $142.80-$200.00 previously. Traders said most of the coffee came from Mbeya in the south of Tanzania, while small quantities were from areas around Mount Kilimanjaro.

Prices were good despite top grades being lower than those at the last sale of the 2008/09 crop season, they said.

“There was good coffee coming from the south, a very small offering from the north. The prices … were generally quite good as the buyers were very keen to buy. Quite an exciting auction,” said one trader at a leading export company.

Grade A fetched $121.60-$148.00, compared with $132.00-$159.00 previously.

Tanzania is Africa’s fourth-largest coffee grower after Ethiopia, Uganda and Ivory Coast, according to the International Coffee Organisation.

The east African economy mostly produces arabica, but it also grows some robusta. Prices at its weekly auction largely follow those of arabica in New York and robusta in London.

TCB forecasts production in 2009/10(May/April) to come in at between 50,000 tonnes and 55,000 tonnes, compared with about 62,000 tonnes in the previous season.

The auction was held on Thursday, but TCB released the results on Tuesday.

Source: Reuters

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