Officials of the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) said on Tuesday that some dealers were illegally selling samples - usually over and above the 50 kg per bag on sale - used for grading and tasting purposes.
Farmers are required to hand in representative samples weighing 14 kg per lot of coffee marked for sale to their respective marketing agents at least eight working days before a scheduled auction, according to existing regulations.
The NCE said some marketers declined to present the required weight of samples, hence the decision to cancel the session.
"We have trading rules that some traders chose to defy and we had to cancel today's auction in line with the rules. They failed to offer the right weight of coffee samples," Charles Mbaluka, chief executive of the NCE, told Reuters.
The auction that takes place every Tuesday was postponed to March 27, Mbaluka said.
Coffee is a key foreign exchange earner for the biggest economy in the region, earning around 26 billion shillings ($315 million) from exports of the commodity in 2010/11, up from 16 billion shillings a year earlier.