Coffee prices rose at last week’s auction, driven by demand from exporters for high-quality beans, the regulator Moshi-based  Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) has said.

The number of bags offered for sale at the auction more than doubled from the previous sale as growers increased supply to take advantage of rising prices.

TCB said 18,616 60-kg bags were offered at the latest sale, and 15,280 bags were sold. At the previous sale, a total of 8,223 60-kg bags were up for sale, with 6,526 bags sold.

All the Robusta coffee offered at the auction was bought.

“The coffee supplied to the auction last week was of high quality, while demand has been increasing following the resumption of coffee auctions after the holiday recess,” TCB’s chief auctioneer, Desideri Mboya, told Reuters by telephone from the northern town of Moshi, where the auctions are being held.

“We expect prices at our auctions to remain above the terminal market heading to February-March, since there will be a shortage of coffee harvests this season compared to the previous one.”

Market participants said the up-take of coffee on offer at the weekly auctions was increasing due to global demand.

“Many traders have returned from their holidays and are keento cover their short positions and compensate for the previous two-week lull in trading,” said a trader at a coffee exporting company in Tanzania.

“There is good quality coffee being supplied from the southern and northern parts of the country and everybody wants to get their hands on it.”

Tanzania, Africa’s fourth-largest coffee grower after Ethiopia, Uganda and Ivory Coast, produces mainly Arabica and some Robusta coffee.

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