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cofNAIROBI: The top price of Kenya's benchmark grade AA coffee rose sharply to $342 per bag at auction this week from $312 at the previous sale, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) said on Wednesday.

 

During the auction, Grade AA sold at $132-$342 per bag, up from $212-$312 last week, NCE said in a market report.

 

Grade AB fetched $146-$232 per bag compared with the previous week's $154-$232.

 

Although the east Africa nation is a small coffee producer compared with other producers globally such as Brazil and Vietnam, its specialty beans are much sought after for blending with those from other producers.

 

NCE said that of the 10,851 bags offered, only 5,276 bags were sold. Last week 17,257 bags were offered, with 9,587 sold.

 

Overall, the bean fetched a total of $1.16 million with the average price coming in at $179.37. Last week, $1.96 million was realised from the sale of beans with the average price at $168.21.

 

Copyright Reuters, 2012