KENYA – Pakistan emerged as the leading buyer of Kenyan tea as the commodity exports to the country surged to  15.2 million kilogrammes, equivalent to 15200 tonnes, which is valued at US$34.79 million (Sh3.5 billion) during the month of January 2019.

According to data from the Tea Directorate, the Asian country purchases accounted to 32 percent of the total volume that was exported during the period as it continues to cement its position as the top buyer of Kenyan whose.

“Pakistan was the leading export destination for Kenyan tea,” said the directorate.

According to a report by Business Daily, total tea exports during the month amounted to 47 million kilogrammes with 43 countries importing the beverage, which was up from 32 countries in the corresponding period last year.

Kenya’s top 10 tea export destinations accounted for 87 percent of the export volume with all the key markets recording higher imports from Kenya compared with previous year.

Among the other key destinations of the commodity included Egypt at 11.07 million Kgs, UK at 5.82 million Kgs, United Arab Emirates at 2.79 Million Kgs and Russia importing 1.84 Million Kgs of Kenyan Tea.

Sudan imported 1.44 million Kgs, Yemen 1.12 million Kgs with Saudi Arabia absorbing 0.78 Million Kgs while Switzerland and Afghanistan imported 0.77 million Kgs and 0.75 million Kgs of the commodity respectively.

According to the directorate, significant higher tea imports from Kenya were also recorded among the emerging markets of Iran, Nigeria, Ireland, Turkey, China, Malaysia, South Africa, Canada, Oman, Chad and Uzbekistan.

Kenya is trying to open up new markets and cut overreliance on the traditional markets that account for over 80% of the total produce in its bid to cement its position as the leading tea exporter in Africa.

During the month, Kenya’s tea export grew 17% to hit US$109.33 million (Sh11 billion) compared with the corresponding period in 2018.

At the same time, Kenya is targeting to take over the Pakistani tea imports market from India following a dispute between the two Asian countries that has seen tea from Mumbai blocked from accessing the neighbouring state.

In the last financial year, Pakistan imported 184 million kilogrammes of tea from all over the world with 84 per cent of the total volumes, 155 million kilos, coming from Kenya.