African markets

Belgium becomes largest coffee market in Kenya

Belgium overtook America as Kenya’s top export market for coffee for the first time in a decade.

The European nation imported Kenyan coffee worth 6.5 billion shillings in the year to June 2021. That was almost double what it bought the previous year, surpassing the United States as the first buyer of the drink.

The United States has held on for four years at the top after toppling Germany in 2018, the position Berlin held for a decade.

The United States came in second in terms of purchases after purchasing coffee worth 4 billion shillings during the reporting period.

“While the top five countries remain the same for both seasons, it is important to note that Belgium have moved from third position the previous year to first position in 2020/21,” said the chief executive. Enosh Akuma coffee.

Statistics from the Coffee Directorate indicate that Belgium purchased 8.9 million kilograms of produce compared to six million kilograms while the United States purchased 6.1 million kilograms compared to nine million a year earlier.

Until 2017, Germany was the biggest buyer of Kenyan coffee, but its dominance was broken by America in 2018, which came out on top for the first time and held that position until the year last.

The United States took the top spot in 2018 after Kenya aggressively marketed its specialty coffee at the 2018 Specialty Coffee Association of America Symposium in Seattle.

Kenya was awarded ‘Portrait Status’ at the symposium, making it the main focal point of the exhibition, which is one of the single market’s biggest avenues for coffee growers to meet buyers and drink consumers.

Germany came in third during the reporting period, having bought 5.5 million kilos worth 3 billion shillings.

Kenya exports most of its coffee in the form of cleaned beans. It exports only 5% in the form of roasted coffee. The country is therefore missing out on the added value of selling roasted and packaged coffee.

Roasters buy Kenyan produce to blend with lesser quality beans from elsewhere in the world. The country is looking to increase the amount of locally roasted coffee by 5-10% per year over the next five years.