Kenya is planning to double its coffee export to the United States of America, the world’s largest consumer of the beverage.
“North America is a big market for specialty coffee and we expect the visibility Kenyan coffee gets will help grow our market share in the United States,” said Kiplimo Melli, head of kenya’s Coffee Directorate.
The country exported 6.1 million kilograms (13.4 million pounds) of the beans to the U.S in 2015-16, from 7 million kilograms a year earlier. The figure accounts for 14 percent of total coffee exports.
According to Melli, Kenya wants about 30 percent of its coffee to end up in the U.S by the end of 2019.
Germany in the last season bought the most of Kenya specialty coffee at 8.17 million kilograms, followed by Belgium with 7.4 million kilograms.
Although Kenya is a small grower compared with regional producers like Ethiopia and Uganda but its bean is much sought after for their acidity, and because it is used to improve coffee from other regions.
According to government data, average export prices to the U.S. were the highest in 2015-16 at $296 per 50 kilogram bags, 18 percent higher than to Germany.
Coffee exports rose 6 percent to 44,400 metric tons for the 2015-16 season, earning the east African country $206 million. Sales to the U.S. accounted for $32.8 million in the same period.