Pakistan buys Sh12bn of Kenya tea as exports rise

A worker picks tea. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Pakistan accounted for Sh12 billion of Kenya’s total earnings of tea in the first quarter of this year with exports to major markets rising by 19 percent in the review period.

A Tea Directorate report shows that Pakistan bought 35 percent of the total exports, bringing in Sh12 billion, which was an increase from Sh9.4 billion in corresponding period last year.

“The total export volume for the first quarter was 153 million kilogrammes, which was higher than 128 million kilos recorded in the same period of last year,” said the directorate.

All the top 10 buyers of the Kenya’s tea with the exception of Sudan registered an increase in volumes of the beverage that they bought from the Mombasa auction. The report shows the volume of tea exported to Pakistan, Egypt, UAE, UK and Russia increased by 32, 13, 11, 26 and 42 percent respectively.

Kenyan tea fetched Sh220 a kilo from Sh225 in the previous period with the decline attributed to high volumes amid lower demand in the world market.

Tea exports to Pakistan, Kenya’s number one buyer, increased to 55 million kilos in the first quarter this year from 42 million kilos in corresponding period of 2020.

In the period under review, Kenya tea was shipped to 50 export destinations, compared with 46 countries in the same period last year.

The 10 export destinations, most of which are traditional markets for Kenyan tea, accounted for 87 percent of the total volume that was shipped out of the country in review period.

Kenya has been relying on the top traditional markets to sell most of its tea but the directorate is now scouting for new markets to boost sales.

The directorate has been banking on emerging markets and an increase in local consumption to improve sale of the beverage and boost farmers’ earnings.

Significantly higher tea imports from Kenya were recorded amongst the emerging markets of Switzerland, India, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and Japan.

Kenya has been trying to promote local consumption of the commodity, but the growth has been slow. In the first quarter of this year, local consumption stood at eight million kilos, down from nine million kilos in the same period last year.

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