Tea export volumes in Kenya decline by 4% in first eight months despite rise in production

KENYA – Tea production in Kenya for the first eight months of the year (January – August) increased by 33.59% reaching 375.75 million kilo grams (Kgs) against 281.26 million Kgs recorded during the same period of 2019.

This was indicated by the Tea Directorate which revealed that production of the commodity in the month of August increased slightly to 38.52 million kgs compared to 36.55 million recorded in July this year.

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The rise in production is attributed to favourable weather conditions, however, the directorate expects to register much lower production in the remaining part of the year on account of expected dry and hot weather.

Tea exports in the eight months to August dropped by 14 million Kgs compared with the same period last year.

In terms of trade, the month of August registered higher sales volume amounting to 33 million Kgs being sold at the Mombasa Auction compared to 27.70 million Kgs sold last year.

The sales were however lower in comparison with 34.2 million Kgs sold in July and 42.9 million Kgs in June this year.

The decline in sales during the year is a clear indication of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which has impacted negatively on consumer purchasing power.

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Tea exports decline by 4%

Kenya’s tea exports in the eight months to August dropped by 14 million Kgs compared with the same period last year as the demand for the commodity in the world market remains suppressed.

Data report from the Directorate shows that export volumes dropped to 323 million kilogrammes in the review period from 337 million in the corresponding period last year, signifying a 4% decline.

Exports to Kenya’s top two markets dropped substantially by seven percent to Pakistan and 14 percent to Egypt.

The decline in export volumes highlights the effects that the coronavirus has had on international trade.

“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.

For the month of August, Kenya exported 34.03 million Kgs, 24% lower compared 44.67 million Kgs recorded last year. The month’s volume exports were also lower compared to July when the country sold 38.55 million Kgs.

During the month, Kenya tea was shipped to 49 export destinations as was the case during the same period last year.

Pakistan maintained the leading export destination for Kenyan tea having imported 13.73 million Kgs, accounting for 40% of the total export volume.

Egypt which usually holds second position was overtaken by UK (3.66 million Kgs), Russia (2.33 million Kgs) and Jordan (1.95 million Kgs). Egypt came in at fifth place with 1.47 million Kgs.

Other destinations included Yemen, Sudan, India, UAE, China, Uzbekistan, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Australia, Ghana and Eriterea.

Local sales for the first eight month of 2020 was 27.35 million Kgs against 27.97 million Kgs for the same period of last year.

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