Commodities

Pakistan cements position as leading purchaser of Kenya tea

tea

A worker picks tea. FILE PHOTO | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • Pakistan purchased tea worth Sh20 billion at the Mombasa auction in the first five months of this year as exports to Kenya’s major markets rose by 27 percent in the review period.
  • Industry performance report from the Tea Directorate shows that Pakistan bought 35 percent of the total exports, cementing its position as the top buyer of the beverage.

Pakistan purchased tea worth Sh20 billion at the Mombasa auction in the first five months of this year as exports to Kenya’s major markets rose by 27 percent in the review period.

Industry performance report from the Tea Directorate shows that Pakistan bought 35 percent of the total exports, cementing its position as the top buyer of the beverage.

The volume of tea exported to Pakistan increased to 93.7 million kilos in the review period from 73 million kilos in the same period last year.

“The total export volume for the first five months was 253 million kilogrammes, which was higher than 212 million kilos recorded in the same period of last year,” said the directorate.

All the top 10 buyers of Kenya’s tea, except the UK, registered an increase in volumes of the beverage that they bought from the Mombasa auction.

Kenyan tea fetched Sh213 a kilo from Sh225 in the previous period with the decline attributed to high volumes amid low demand in the world market.

In the period under review, Kenya tea was shipped to 51 export destinations, compared with 42 countries in the same period last year.

The 10 export destinations, most of which are traditional markets for Kenyan tea, accounted for 86 percent of the total volume that was shipped out of the country in the 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 the 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 8 million kilos, down from 9 million kilos in the same period last year.