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Commodities

Tea prices hit a month high at the weekly sales

A tea picker in Kericho. photo | tonny omondi | nmg
A tea picker in Kericho. photo | tonny omondi | nmg 

Tea prices at the Mombasa auction rose marginally last week to touch a month high after a losing streak in the previous four sales.

A market report by East African Tea Traders Association (EATTA) shows on average a kilogramme of tea fetched Sh298 last week up from Sh292 the in previous sale.

The price had been dipping in the four sales on account of higher volumes at the weekly tea trades.

The volume of tea at the auction last week rose to 8.3 million kilogrammes from 7.9 million in the previous sale.

“Out of 139,587 packages (9,080,000kg) available for sale, 127,492 packages (8,303,201kg) were sold with 8.6 per cent remaining unsold,” says EATTA in the report.

The price of the commodity had hit a high of Sh300 per kilogramme last month, marking the second time the value had crossed the Sh300 mark since the beginning of the year.

Tea production for 2017 is, however, still expected to drop by double digits due to the effects of drought.

The Agriculture and Food Authority says production of green leaf will drop from 473 million kilogrammes in 2016 to about 420 million kilogrammes this year.

The beverage earned Kenya $1.226 billion (Sh127.3 billion) last year, which was a drop of 1.7 per cent from the $1.247 billion (Sh129.4 billion) it recorded in 2015.

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