Rwanda tea competes Kenya’s in quality and price

KENYA – Rwandan tea recorded better performance at the Mombasa Tea Auction for the year 2018 compared to Kenya’s on the account of high quality that saw increased demand from buyers, reports Business Daily.

According to data from the Tea Directorate, a kilogramme of Rwandan Tea on average attracted US$2.82 (kshs 287) against Kenya’s US$2.57 (KSh262) last year.

However, tea prices noted a decline from a high of US$ 3.17 in 2017 to US$ 2.82 in 2018 for Rwandan tea and US$ 2.95 to US$2.57 per kilogramme in 2018 for Kenyan tea owed to increased production.

Brokers at Mombasa auction in Kenya said that Rwanda produces some of the best teas regionally, which attract a premium price from buyers at the auction.

“Rwandan tea normally fetches good price at the auction because of good quality that results from best agronomical practices that they have invested in.

To them (Rwanda) quality is more important than the volumes that they bring at the auction,” said one of the tea brokers.

The Tea Directorate however projects an increase in revenues from Kenyan tea exports to rise by US$ 49.11 million this year resulting from low volumes and high auction price.

The directorate says the volume of the beverage will in 2019 drop from a high of 450 million kilos that realised in 2018 to a low of 435 million kilogrammes which will see the average auction price surge to US$ 2.75 per kilo up from US$ 2.55 achieved in 2018.

Tea prices have been on the decline in the last quarter of the year, with an average price in the last auction held last week remaining within a two-year low range.

However, tea remained among top export earners in Kenya.

East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA) had attributed a string of poor prices on Kenyan tea to increased volume in the market due to high production from farmers.

Mombasa Tea Auction offers the commodity auctions from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The auctions attract principal overseas interest from the major tea consuming countries in the world with the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Somalia, Canada and Singapore as the major players.

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