Cost of exporting tea tripples over Red Sea disturbances

The cost of exporting tea through the Mombasa port has nearly tripled due to a shortage of merchant ships on sustained attacks by Yemen-based militants on vessels transiting through the Red Sea.

Exporters said they now have to wait for up to three weeks more to load cargo as the few operational vessels navigated longer routes around Africa instead of using the Red Sea and the Suez Canal with the extra costs passed to them.

Since last November, major shipping lines have stopped or temporarily halted Red Sea operations, affecting the supply chain in different sea port States.

The impact of this is that the cost of shipping a 40-foot container of tea to key destinations such as Russia has risen more than three times.

“It used to cost a tea exporter about Sh339,418.27($2,442) to ship a 40-foot container to Russia, Kenya’s fifth biggest market for the beverage in October, but today it is about Sh904,764.78 ($6,513) to the nation and other neighbouring regions,” said a Mombasa based tea buyer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.