Rwanda tea earnings rise to US$93m attributed to 7% increase in volume

RWANDA – Tea exports in Rwanda have risen in both value and quantity in the fiscal year 2019/2020, with the increase attributed to relatively good prices at the international market as well as increased production, indicated the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB).

In terms of revenue, tea exports in the year under review generated more than US$93 million, representing a 12 percent increase compared to the over US$83 million (about Rwf80 billion) fetched in 2018/2019.

The statistics as reported by New Times Rwanda, also show that tea export volumes increased by 7 percent from 30,500 tonnes in 2018/2019 to more than 32,600 tonnes in 2019/2020.

“There are new tea plantations which started giving yield. This enabled factories to process more tea for export,” Pie Ntwari, the NAEB Communication Officer said, adding that Rwanda has 18 tea processing factories.

By 2024, Rwanda expects to produce 65,099 tonnes of tea and generate US$209 million through exports.

The revenue increase also signifies a rebound in Rwanda’s tea exports in the financial year that ended in June 2020 as revenues had decreased by 5 per cent from US$88 million in 2017/2018 to 83 million in 2018/2019, despite a 10 per cent rise in tea export volumes.

Rwanda outcompetes other member countries of the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA) in fetching premium tea prices at the Mombasa tea auction according to available information.

EATTA is a voluntary organisation bringing together tea producers, buyers (exporters), brokers, tea packers and warehouses. It has 10 member Countries namely Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, DR Congo, Malawi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, and Mozambique.

By 2024, Rwanda expects to produce 65,099 tonnes of tea and generate US$209 million through exports, according to NAEB.

In neighbouring Kenya, the country’s earnings from tea in the first half of the year dropped to Ksh.55 billion (US$509.8m) from Ksh.60 billion (US$556.1m) recorded in the same period last year as demand was negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Kenya Tea Directorate indicated that the low demand also led to the decline in price per kilo to Ksh221 (US$2.05) from Ksh239 (US$2.22) in the corresponding period last year.

Volume of tea exported to the world market dropped by two million kilos in the six months to June, representing a one per cent decline.

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