Kenya tea exports down despite 38% rise in production while coffee earnings drop

KENYA – Tea production in Kenya has risen by 38% in the seven months to July from 244 million kilogrammes registered in the same period in 2019 to 337 million kilograms.

Despite the increase in production, the Tea Directorate has indicated that the exported amounts declined by 3.4 million kilos as commodity markets continued to face disruptions because of COVID-related restrictions, reports Business Daily.

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The volumes exported to different countries dropped to 289.1 million kilogrammes from 292.6 million in corresponding time last year.

“Notably, access to some markets is still a challenge due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on commodity distribution and trading across the globe,” said the directorate.

The regulator highlighted lower demand in two key markets of Pakistan and Egypt as the major cause of the decline in volumes shipped out this year.

Pakistan, which is the leading buyer of the Kenyan tea, registered a decline of 8 million kilogrammes in the review period, from a high of 105.7 million kilogrammes last year to 97 million kilogrammes this year.

Egypt, which is the second major importer of the beverage witnessed a decline of 1 million kilogrammes in the review period.

“Notably, access to some markets is still a challenge due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on commodity distribution and trading across the globe.”

Kenya Tea Directorate

Coffee earnings decline

Meanwhile, earning from the other leading export commodity from Kenya, Coffee, for the eight months to August dropped by Sh2.4 billion (US$22.1m) compared with the similar period last year.

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Market report from the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) indicates that the crop had earned Kenya Sh9 billion (US$82.9m) by the end of last month, down from Sh11.4 billion (US$105m) in corresponding period last year.

According to NCE, the low earnings resulted from lower quality coffee as the supply of farming inputs was disrupted following restrictions imposed in the country to curb coronavirus spread.

The average price went up to Sh20,088 (US$185) during the period from Sh16,740 (US$154) for a 50-kilo bag in the corresponding eight months of the previous year, with the rally attributed to shortage of coffee that resulted in higher prices in the world market.

The number of bags traded in the review period was 367,175, down from 556,608 in 2019’s first eight months, representing a 34.03 percent drop.

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