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Kenya

Kenya tea export earnings down by 16.4pc

Kenya is a leading exporter of black tea, accounting for nearly 20% of total global exports and the same must be reflected in the farmers’ earnings. /FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27-Kenya’s tea export earnings dropped by 16.4 percent in 2019 contributing to Sh117 billion towards the country’s GDP.

Director General Agriculture and Food Authority Anthony Mureithi attribute the decline from Sh140 billion registered in 2018 to low auction prices.

“Owing to increased supply caused by carryover of stocks from 2018, the auction prices went down too,” said Mureithi.

Additionally, he said, the low prices were also linked to higher supply in tea production within the region brought about by favorable weather conditions.

During the year 2019, a total of 497 million kilograms were exported which was 22 million kilograms higher than 474 million kilograms exported in 2018.

The report also indicates that the average price of Kenya tea fell to Sh223 per kilogram during the review period from Sh260 per kilogram in 2018.

Under the review period, Kenya managed to ship tea to export destinations compared to sixty-one destinations it attracted in 2018.

Pakistan was the leading export destination for Kenyan tea having imported 177.7 million kilograms, which accounted for 36 percent of the total export volume.

Other key export destinations for Kenyan tea were Egypt with 99 million kilograms, the UK at 46 million kilograms, the United Arab Emirates buying 25 million kilograms, among others.

Emerging markets that recorded significantly higher tea imports from Kenya include Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ireland, Iran, India, Poland, Netherlands, Somalia, Turkey, Indonesia, Jordan, and Japan.

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The regulator also projects that production will increase in 2020 with export earnings from some of the main buyers of Kenyan tea like Pakistan, Egypt, and Britain.

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