Commodities

Tea withdrawals at auction rise as price falls for second week

tea

A woman plucks tea leaves at a farm. FILE PHOTO | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • Data from the East Africa Tea Traders Association (Eatta) indicates that the withdrawals stood at 15 percent last week from 13 percent in the previous sale.
  • The average price of the commodity declined to Sh215 from Sh219 previously, to mark a seven-week low.
  • The price of the beverage has in the last two weeks been declining.

The volume of tea withdrawn from the auction floor last week in Mombasa went up by two percentage points as the price of the commodity fell for the second consecutive week.

Data from the East Africa Tea Traders Association (Eatta) indicates that the withdrawals stood at 15 percent last week from 13 percent in the previous sale.

The average price of the commodity declined to Sh215 from Sh219 previously, to mark a seven-week low.

“Out of 12.5 million kilos available for sale, 10.6 million kilos were sold with 15.3 per cent remaining unsold,” said Eatta in the market report.

The price of the beverage has in the last two weeks been declining, coming off the back of crossing the two-dollar mark for the first time in 18 months at the beginning of the month.

The price of tea had started on a good note this year, rallying for two consecutive sales before dipping in the third week of January.

Compared with the corresponding time last year, the price of the beverage is higher in the review period. In the eleventh sale of 2020, the beverage fetched Sh206 against the current Sh215 for a kilo.

Kenya’s tea is still facing demand challenge in the world market as the effects of Covid-19 are still taking a toll on Kenya’s beverage.

The lower prices have also been attributed to an increase in volumes in the world market. Kenya is the leading country in exports of the commodity with over 95 per cent of the total tea produced locally shipped outside the country.

Tea production was up 24 percent in 2020 to hit 569 million kilogrammes from 468 million kilogrammes in corresponding period in 2019.

Tea exports to Kenya’s major markets increased by four percent to 518 million kilos when compared with 496 million in the same period in 2019.