Tanzania coffee prices ease on sluggish demand

Coffee beans are seen at a Nairobi Java House outlet in Nairobi January 21, 2012. REUTERS/Noor Khamis

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Average coffee prices in Tanzania, Africa's fourth-biggest producer, edged lower at auction last week in line with a slowdown in demand at New York and London markets, the regulator Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) said on Wednesday. The east African nation, which ranks behind Ethiopia, Uganda and Ivory Coast in output, produces mainly arabica and some robusta coffee. The state-run TCB said in a report benchmark grade AA arabica sold at auction last Thursday fetched $196-$230.80 per bag, down from $201-$263 at the previous week's sale. "Average prices were above the terminal market by $8.91 per 50 kg for mild arabica and robusta were above the terminal market by $15.59 per 50 kg," TCB said. The TCB said 22,277 bags were offered at the latest sale, and 21,175 bags were purchased. At the previous auction, 24,866 60-kg bags were offered for sale and 23,167 were sold. East African coffee is normally packed in 60-kg bags, but the prices are quoted for quantities of 50 kg. The next auction will be held on Nov. 13. PRICE (dollars) GRADE OFFERED SOLD LOW HIGH AVERAGE Arabica AA 8,283 8,026 196.00 230.80 204.64 Arabica A 4,298 4,262 196.00 215.80 201.56 Arabica AB 3,141 2,555 190.00 226.00 207.26 Arabica B 2,624 2,587 194.80 210.00 198.65 Arabica PB 2,171 2,023 190.00 227.00 203.31 Arabica C 1,330 1,292 170.00 204.20 184.71 Robusta Superior 430 430 101.00 102.00 101.84 (Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by James Macharia)

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