Market News

Rwanda tea keeps premium rates at Mombasa auction

tea

A worker picks tea. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Rwanda’s tea continues to sell at a premium in the Mombasa auction, overshadowing price offers on Kenya’s produce as international buyers focus on unique attributes.
  • Market data from the auction indicates the price of Rwandan tea stood at Sh269 a kilo in the sale held last week against Kenya’s Sh227 for the same quantity.
  • Rwanda has often led when it comes to the best tea, fetching a higher price than the others from the region.

Rwanda’s tea continues to sell at a premium in the Mombasa auction, overshadowing price offers on Kenya’s produce as international buyers focus on unique attributes.

Market data from the auction indicates the price of Rwandan tea stood at Sh269 a kilo in the sale held last week against Kenya’s Sh227 for the same quantity.

Rwanda has often led when it comes to the best tea, fetching a higher price than the others from the region.

“There are specific attributes, including quality, which buyers look at when they are buying tea at the auction and that is what normally informs the price of a given beverage,” said a tea broker at the auction.

Burundi emerged the third best with its beverage fetching Sh203, followed by Uganda at Sh114 and Tanzania at Sh108 per kilo on average.

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 a top tea exporter in the world, leads the auction in terms of volumes with more than three-quarters of the produce traded coming from within the country.

Prices had remained low at the auction in recent months in what was been attributed to high volumes of the commodity in the global market.

The low prices prompted the government to set a minimum price for smallholders farmers’ tea to protect earnings after the value of the produce fell below the production cost.

According to the sector regulator, low demand of the beverage has been a contributing factor to depressed earnings.