, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 27 – Kenya’s tea production in May grew to 39.6 million kilograms against 37.3 million kgs recorded during the corresponding month of 2012.
The Kenya Tea Board attributed the slight growth in production to continued wet weather conditions in tea growing areas particularly in the West of Rift.
Across the sub-sectors, production within the plantation sub-sector rose from 12.8 million kgs to 14.9 million kgs while that of the smallholder sub-sector increased marginally from 24.5 million kgs to 24.6 million kgs.
Owing to continued good weather conditions, cumulative production for the first five months of the year was 195 million kgs against 127.9 million kgs recorded during the corresponding period of 2012.
During the month, 25.4 million kgs of Kenyan tea was sold through the Mombasa Auction against 12.8 million kgs recorded in May 2012.
Consequently, cumulative average prices for January to May 2013 declined to Sh247 per kg compared to Sh260 for the corresponding period of 2012 largely due to improved production.
The total export volume for the month of May 2013 was 45.4 million kgs compared to 29.9 million kgs recorded same period of last year.
Higher export volume was largely attributed to increased supply compared to that of the same period last year.
During the month, Kenya tea was shipped to 34 export destinations compared to forty two destinations for the same period of last year owing to less demand by the seasonal buyers.
Egypt continued to be the leading export destination for Kenyan tea having imported 9.8 million kgs, accounting for 22 percent of the total export volume.
Other key export destinations for Kenyan tea were Afghanistan (7.6 million kgs), Pakistan (6.1 million kgs), UK (5.5 million kgs) and UAE (2.9 million kgs).
The five export destinations accounted for 71 million of Kenya tea export volume. All the traditional markets recorded higher imports for Kenyan tea.