NAIROBI, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The United States has emerged as the biggest market for Kenyan coffee after importing 8,900 metric tons in the 2016/2017 crop year, up from 8,100 tons in the previous year, officials said Wednesday.
Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) Kenya Interim Head of Coffee Directorate Grenville Melli told journalists that the United States has surpassed Germany, which bought 8,400 tons of Kenya coffee in the same period.
"We attribute U.S. rise to become the number one market to Kenya's presence at the Specialty Coffee Association of America Expo that took place in April where Kenya featured prominently," Melli said.
The United States is a lucrative market given that under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act trade agreement, goods from Kenya access the U.S. market duty free, he added.
Belgium and Sweden are among the other key export destinations for Kenyan coffee. The two countries imported 5,900 tons and 3,700 tons respectively in the 2016/2017 crop year.
Kenya is expected to produce 50,000 metric tons of coffee in 2017, up from 46,000 tons last year.
According to the AFA, Kenya's coffee is highly sought after in the international market due to its premium quality.
"It is usually used to blend with coffee from other nations," Melli said.