Uganda tea exports revenues grow 11.4% to US$88.8m in 2018

UGANDA – Uganda tea exports recorded the highest performance ever in 2018 after posting sales worth US$88.8 million from US$79.7 million in 2017 representing 11.4% increase in revenues.

Stakeholders in the sector have attributed the significant performance to increased production which grew 15% to 71 million kilogrammes up from 60 million kilogrammes exported in 2017, reports Daily Monitor.

According to data from According to Bank of Uganda’s, the country’s tea exports have in the past three years recorded consistent growth increasing from US$71.5 million in 2016.

George William Ssekitooleko, General Secretary Uganda Tea Association, additionally said that: “Good production as a result of increased acreage is responsible for this performance.”

On average, Uganda exports about 60,000 tonnes indirectly through Mombasa Tea auction as Kenyan branded tea through 27 exporting companies.

Despite the country’s good performance last year, its tea exports through the Mombasa Tea auction at the beginning of 2019 suffered a decline due to low prices and increased production across major producing countries.

This saw Uganda’s tea export reduce to 1.43 million kilogramme from 1.46 million kilogramme exported the same period last year representing a 2% drop in volumes.

However, overall records from the auction, show that the regional export volume registered a 13% increase in exports to 11.2 million kilogrammes compared to 10.1 million kilos exported last year within the same period.

Uganda is among the five East African member states who trade their teas through the Mombasa Tea Auction with others including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi.

Last year, as part of efforts to revamp the sector Ugandan government under its investment arm, Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), invested US$2.37 million in establishing two tea processing factories.

Currently, the tea industry in Uganda employs more than 62,000 people and supports more than 500,000 dependents.

The country boasts of 16 tea processing and exporting companies operating 21 processing factories with Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and America being the major export destinations for Uganda’s tea.

According to The Tea Detective, Uganda is Africa’s third largest tea producer competing globally with China, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, Argentina, Japan, Thailand, Uganda, Bangladesh, Malawi and Burundi.

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