A farmer plucking tea [Photo : sciencephoto.com]
A smooth start has had for farmers who had been receiving poor earnings in the first sales of 2021 as Tea prices at the Mombasa auction sold at an average price of USD 2.45 (sh276)per kilogram in the first sale of 2021 as compared to (USD 2.39) sh265 per kilogram, the last price in 2020.
According to the East African Tea Traders Association (EATTA), the total volume traded for Sale 01 of 2022 was 448,980 Kilos more than Sale 51 of 2021.
“There was an improved general demand for the 191,560 Packages (12,665,465 kilos) available for sale with 160,200 packages (10,719,268 Kilos) being sold. 16.37 per cent packages remained unsold,” EATTA said.
Tea prices which have been on the rise since November, come in the back of the minimum reserve price regime introduced by the government.
November reported the highest sale in 2020, a 27 per cent rise
In July, KTDA introduced a minimum reserve price of Sh268 (USD2.43) per kilo of processed tea in a move aimed at cushioning smallholder farmers who were affected by the deteriorating market that had seen selling prices nearly slip below the cost of production.
EATTA noted that during the first sale of 2021, Pakistan Packers showed more and strong support with increased interest from Kazakhstan, Bazaar, and Sudan while Egyptian Packers lent strong and useful inquiry.
“Afghanistan was subdued while Local Packers were less active in line with the price. Somalia showed more interest at the lower end of the market,” EATTA said.
Kenya’s tea has, however, continued to perform poorly in the international market with the export earnings of the commodity dropping by 9.1 per cent in Q3 2021 compared to a similar period in 2020.
According to the Q3 2021 Balance of Payments report prepared by the Kenya National Bureau of statistics, earnings from the export of tea deteriorated from Sh30.5 billion in the third quarter of 2020 to Sh27.7 billion in the review period.
“The decline was largely attributable to the decline in the export quantities that fell from 138.6 thousand metric tonnes to 124.5 thousand metric tonnes,” said KNBS.
The earnings have also been dropping when compared to the other quarters of 2021 wherein Q2 (April to June) the country got Sh32.2billion from tea exports, while in Q1 (January to March) the country earned Sh35.8billion from the commodity.