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Tea prices in slight increase as Mombasa auction reopens

Workers pick purple tea at Njeru Industries in Meru. FILE PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NMG
Workers pick purple tea at Njeru Industries in Meru. FILE PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NMG 

Tea prices at the Mombasa auction increased marginally on Tuesday as sale resumed after closure the previous week over the elections.

A market report by the East African Tea Traders Association (EATTA) shows on average a kilogramme of tea fetched Sh285 this week down from Sh275 previous sale.

Tea prices have been dipping since the beginning of last month at the auction and the Tuesday rally came as a relief to farmers.

The trading price determines the amount to be paid as bonus that follows the fixed monthly payments.

The volume of tea at the auction this week dropped to 6.3 million kilos from 6.6 million kilos traded in the previous sale.

“Out of 109,583 packages (7,110,000 kg) available for sale, 97,823 packages (6,365,519kg) were sold with 10.07 per cent going unsold,” says EATTA in the report. Tea production for 2017 is expected to drop by double digits due to the effects of drought.

The Agriculture and Food Authority says production of green leaf will from 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) recorded in 2015.

Mombasa is the second largest black tea auction after Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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