NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – Tea production for the first six months of this year has gone down to 158.1 million kilograms (Kgs) from 178.4 million kgs in the corresponding period in 2011.
The Tea Board of Kenya says this is due to the adverse weather conditions experienced in the first four months of this year.
The board says owing to the lower production to date, the total production for the year, is also expected to drop to 360 million Kgs compared to 377 million Kgs in 2011.
However in the month of June, production went up to 30 million Kgs compared to 28.9 million Kgs in the previous month. The higher production in the month was attributed to occasional light rainfall especially in the west parts of Rift Valley region.
During the month of June, 16.7 million Kgs of Kenyan tea was sold through the Mombasa auction at an average price of $3, (Sh252) compared to the 23.5 million Kgs sold in June 2011.
The average auction price per kilo for the 6 months was slightly above $3. The board says the higher price was attributed by the lower supply that has been recorded in key producing countries across the world except China, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
In the month of June, Egypt maintained the leading position in terms of Kenya tea exports, having imported 6.3 million Kgs of local tea, equivalent to 21 percent of all Kenyan tea exported. Egypt was followed by Pakistan at 5.5 million Kgs, UK 3.9 million Kgs, Russia 2.9 million Kgs and Sudan 2.3 million Kgs.
Among the five leading destinations, the Russian market recorded the highest increase in Kenyan tea imports, at 86 percent.
The same growth was realized in the emerging markets which include United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kazakhstan, Djibouti and Indonesia.
The board projects 420 million Kgs of tea to be exported by the end of the year, slightly down from 421 exported last year.
The local consumption of tea locally also went down to 8.5 million Kgs from 9.97 million Kgs in the first six months of last year.