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Kenya tea production up

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 3 – January’s tea production went up by 47 percent compared to a year earlier due to increased rains.

In a statement, Tea Board of Kenya said production went up to stand at 37.7 million kilograms compared to 25.4 million kilograms recorded during the corresponding period last year.

Tea output within smallholder sub-sector increased by 49 percent from 14.4 million kgs to 21.6 million kgs while that of the Plantation sub-sector recorded an increase of 45 percent to 16.0 million kgs.

During the period, the volume sold through the Auction was 18 percent higher at an average price of $2.99 US dollars.

The total export volume for the month of January stood at 39.2 million kgs, which was 12 percent higher compared to 34.9 million kgs in 2009.

Tea during the period was exported to 34 destinations with Egypt leading the pack importing 7.7 million kgs of tea accounted for 20 percent of the total export volume.

Other key export destinations included the UK, which imported 7.0 million kgs, Pakistan 6.6 million kgs, Afghanistan 6.0 million kgs, and Sudan 1.9 million kgs.

“Amongst the five export destinations, Afghanistan recorded the highest growth at 64 percent compared to the same period of last year while Sudan and UK recorded a growth of 46 percent and 28 percent respectively,” Tea Board of Kenya managing director Sicily Kariuki said.

There was also significant growth in Kenya tea exports to most market destinations in Europe, North America, and Middle East due to increased demand occasioned by higher consumption during the winter season.

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Local tea consumption suffered a five percent dip to 1.4 million kilograms mainly due to reduced buying following the December festive season.

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