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Coffee Prices Drop As Harvest Season Ends

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Stephen Nuwagira

Robusta coffee has eased from highs of sh8,600/8,700 per kilogramme last month to trade at between sh7,500 and 7,800 in Ibanda as the harvest period ends. Traders in Ibanda town quoted the price of ‘clean’ coffee beans at sh7,800 per kilogramme, while it is at sh7,500 in Rushango town council, Ibanda North County.

Vincent Kanane, from Rushango town council, attributes the drop to inferior quality and low outturn beans currently coming onto the market as the harvest season for robusta coffee comes to an end in the district. The beans had reached highs of sh8,700 in mid-June on the back of growing demand and superior outturn.

Deogratias Tihwayo, a coffee trader in Ibanda town, says most of the coffee currently coming onto the market is from middlemen and farmers that had stored the coffee in anticipation of better prices.

Robusta coffee had not overshot the sh8,000 mark in several years, and was most trading within the sh6,000 range for many years. This dampened the farmers’ morale, forcing some to abandoned the crop.

Meanwhile, Arabica coffee is trading lower than robusta, rangng from sh7,000 to 7,500 per kilogramme of ‘clean’ beans, decreasing from sh9,000 on June 5. Like robusta, the crop is off season with next harvest period projected to start in September.

Indicative prices

Uganda Coffee Development Authority indicative prices for July 12 show that Kiboko coffee ranges from sh3,800 to 4,400, FAQ (fair average quality) sh7,800 – 8,200, Arabica Parchment is between sh10,000 and sh11,000 and drugar coffee (clean) goes for sh9,000-10,00.

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