Commodities

Tea exports fall 14m kilos in eight months

tea

A worker picking tea. FILE PHOTO | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • Kenya’s tea exports dropped by 14 million kilos in the eight months to August compared with the same period last year as the demand for the commodity in the world market remains suppressed.
  • Data report from the Tea Directorate shows that export volumes dropped to 323 million kilogrammes in the review period from 337 million in the corresponding period last year.

Kenya’s tea exports dropped by 14 million kilos in the eight months to August compared with the same period last year as the demand for the commodity in the world market remains suppressed.

Data report from the Tea Directorate shows that export volumes dropped to 323 million kilogrammes in the review period from 337 million in the corresponding period last year.

Exports to Kenya’s top two markets dropped substantially—by seven percent to Pakistan and 14 percent to Egypt. Pakistan remains Kenya’s largest market, shipping in about 36 percent of the total production.

The decline in export volumes highlights the effects that the coronavirus has had on international trade.

For instance, Pakistan, registered a decline of eight million kilos in eight months to August.

Egypt, which is the second major importer of the commodity witnessed a decline of nine million kilos in the review period.

“Notably, access to some markets is still a challenge due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on commodity distribution and trading across the globe,” said the directorate.

Most of the tea importing countries are still battling with the effects of the Coronavirus, slowing the purchases since March when the outbreak was first announced in Kenya.

The export volumes declined despite the quantities produced growing by 33 percent in the review period.

Data from the directorate indicate that the volume of tea delivered between January and August stood at 375 million kilogrammes against 281 million in the same period in 2019.

The top 10 export destinations, most of which are traditional markets for Kenyan tea accounted for 88 percent of Kenya tea export volume.

Low export volume amid falling prices signals low earnings for farmers in their second payment and given the fact that the prices have been down for the entire period.

In the financial year ended June, farmers attached to Kenya Tea Development earned less income compared with the previous year.