Tea price at five-year high on improved demand


A woman picks tea leaves at Gathehu village in Nyeri county on October 31, 2015. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG

The average price of tea at the Mombasa auction rallied to a five-year high last week after rising by the biggest weekly margin this year.

A market report by the East African Tea Traders Association (Eatta) shows the average price jumped to Sh271 from Sh255 in the previous sale, reversing a trend of poor prices witnessed in the previous five sales.

The price had declined on the back of high volumes in the world market amid low demand, but appetite from buyers recovered last week, pushing the price upwards. The total volume traded in last week’s sale was 91,785kg higher than the previous auction.

“There was a good general demand for 188,528 packages (12.3 million kilos) available for sale with 153,255 packages (10.1 million kilos) being sold while 18.71 percent of the total packages remained unsold,” said Eatta.

The price of the beverage had rallied for straight two months from August after the introduction of the minimum price that buyers were supposed to pay for Kenya Tea Development Agency teas, hitting a four-year high of Sh256 before it started dipping again in October.

The minimum price of Sh263 was introduced by the government to cushion farmers from losses after the cost of the beverage hit a decade low of Sh186.

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