Kenya’s tea export dropped 19 per cent in the month of June compared with the similar period last year as leading importing market of the beverage, Pakistan, recorded a decline for first time since January.
Data from Tea Directorate indicates the volumes dropped from 23 million kilogrammes in June last year to 19 million kilos this year.
Tea exports to Pakistan, which accounts for almost half of the Kenya’s total market, registered a decline of 16 per cent.
“Among these markets, Pakistan was the leading export destination for Kenyan tea having imported 19.48 million kilogrammes, accounting for 42 per cent of the total export volume,” says the directorate.
In June, Kenyan tea was shipped to 41 export destinations, the same number of countries in the similar period last year.
During the month, 23.25 million kilos of Kenyan tea was sold through Mombasa Auction against 28.02 million kilos recorded in June 2016.
The average tea auction prices for Kenyan tea for the period under review was higher at Sh323 per kilogramme against Sh248 for the corresponding period last year.
The directorate says the improved prices were attributable to good demand against lower supply of tea in the first quarter of the year due to hot and dry weather conditions that cut supplies.
Agriculture and Food Authority says production of green leaf will drop from 473 million kilos produced in 2016 to about 420 million kilos this year.
Tea production for 2016 was 18.4 per cent higher than the 399 million kilos recorded in 2015.
Tea farmers affiliated to Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) earned a record Sh84 billion in the last financial year, making it the second year of improved earnings helped by a stable exchange rate and high pricing of the commodity in the world market.
Local tea consumption for June 2017 stood at 5.56 million kilogrammes.