Commodities

Tea prices at Mombasa auction fall marginally after 10 weeks

tea-farm

A worker picking tea. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Tea prices at the Mombasa auction slid marginally but held within the government-set minimum price in this week’s sale.

Data from the East African Tea Trade Association (Eatta) shows that a kilogramme of tea fetched $2.44 (Sh295) down from $2.47 (Sh298) that it achieved in the previous sale.

This marks the first time in the last 10 weeks that the price of the beverage has declined, ending a streak of good performance that was being witnessed.

The Ministry of Agriculture set $2.43 (Sh294) as the minimum price for a kilo of tea for all the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) teas last year.

“There was good general demand at irregular levels following quality with an aspect of price adjustment for some categories for the 205,620 packages (13.8 million kilos) on offer and 138, 560 packages (9.2 million kilos) were sold,” said Eatta.

The volumes of tea offered at the auction this week declined by 103,572 kilogrammes to continue on a downward trend for the last month.

The quantities of green leaves from the farm are expected to drop in the coming days as the country undergoes a drought phase, which will see farmers prune their tea bushes in preparation for the rainy season next year in March.

Economic woes

The volume of tea offered for sale this week declined to the lowest level this year as it stood at 19 percent.

The price of tea at the auction has for the last seven weeks been on an upward trend, raising farmers’ hopes of good earnings in the current financial year.

The weekly sale had been witnessing low prices since June this year.

The lower prices were attributed to a decline in demand from buyers owing to the economic woes in Pakistan and the Russia-Ukraine war that resulted in logistical challenges.

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