Commodities

Rwandan tea outshines Kenyan

tea

An auction at the Tea Trade Centre in Mombasa. The process will be automated to boost efficiency. PHOTO | FILE

geraldandae

Summary

  • Marketing data from the Mombasa Tea Auction indicates Rwandan tea was sold at Sh272 a kilo in the auction held last week against Kenya’s Sh214 for the same quantity.
  • At the tail end was Tanzanian tea which fetched Sh133 per kilo.
  • Rwanda has been leading when it comes to the best tea, fetching a premium price compared with others because of the unique test that buyers are looking for.

Rwanda’s tea continues to fetch premium price at the weekly auction in Mombasa, overshadowing the earnings by Kenyan producers as international buyers focus on quality.

Marketing data from the Mombasa Tea Auction indicates Rwandan tea was sold at Sh272 a kilo in the auction held last week against Kenya’s Sh214 for the same quantity.

At the tail end was Tanzanian tea which fetched Sh133 per kilo.

Rwanda has been leading when it comes to the best tea, fetching a premium price compared with others because of the unique test that buyers are looking for.

“The quality of Rwandan tea has always been high, and this is the sole reason the beverage always attracts a premium price,” said a tea broker at the auction.

On average, all the teas at the auction fetched Sh205 per kilo. These teas comprise the ones that are processed by KTDA, multinational firms and other 10 countries that sell their beverage through the Mombasa auction.

During the sale, the average price of the commodity dropped when compared with the same period last year when a kilo on average fetched Sh233.

All the regional teas are marketed at the Mombasa auction by the East African Tea Traders Association before they are shipped out of the country.

Kenya, which is the leading tea exporter in the world, leads the auction in terms of volumes with more than three quarter of the produce traded at the auction coming from the country.

Prices have remained lower at the auction in recent months compared to last year in what has been attributed to high volumes of the commodity.

However, the prices have picked up in the last couple of sales, hitting a five-month high in the latest trading last week.

The Tea Directorate had projected that production will decline towards the end of the year because of the cold season witnessed in June and July and cessation of rain.

However, the volumes offered for sale at the auction have been growing.