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Commodities

Mombasa tea auction prices at five-year low

tea picking
Kenya Tea Development Agency warned farmers last week that they should prepare for low earnings in the current financial year because of depressed prices. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Tea prices at the Mombasa auction slid to a five-year low following a marginal fall from the previous sale even as volumes went down.

The East African Tea Traders Association (Eatta) says the price of the commodity traded at Sh206 per kilo in last week’s sale from Sh208 per kilo recorded in the previous trading.

In comparison with the same period last year, the value of the beverage has significantly come down from a high of about Sh287 per kilo.

During the trading, which was held last Tuesday, the quantities of tea reduced by 288,000 kilos to 9.6 million kilos.

The Tea Directorate had anticipated the price of the beverage will pick this January on assumption that the drought normally associated with the month will cut supply.

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Kenya Tea Development Agency warned farmers last week that they should prepare for low earnings in the current financial year because of depressed prices.

The average price of KTDA teas in the first half of the l2018/2019 financial year dropped to Sh271 a kilo from Sh327 for the corresponding first half of the previous fiscal year, thanks to high volumes.

The price is the lowest to have been witnessed by the agency in the last five years. KTDA says indications point to continued weakening of prices, which will significantly affect farmers’ earnings at the end of the financial year.

KTDA farmers earned a record gross payment of Sh85.74 billion riding on a bumper harvest in the past season that defied the fall in global market prices.

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