Coffee and tea exports dropped by double digits in the 12 months to December 2019, weighing down on country’s forex earnings.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows coffee exports were Sh20.31 billion representing 12.06 per cent drop from Sh23.09 billion in value of coffee exported in 2018.
Volumes rose to 48,726.42 metric tonnes (MT) from 44,679.6 MT sold in 2018.
The value of tea last year was Sh113.45 billion representing an 18.28 per cent drop from Sh138.84 billion in 2018.
This came as production dropped to 474,934.3 MT from 501,785.7 MT previously.
Dry weather, weakening demand for Kenyan black tea and low international prices also reduced earnings from the country’s major forex earner.
According to Kenya Tea Development Authority, this year has started producing higher volumes.
The farmers delivered 150.5 million kilos in January, 15 per cent above what was delivered in December and 21.8 per cent higher than what was produced in January 2019.
This, however, comes on top of higher sales by China and India that have also registered increased production.
Pakistan, Egypt, UK, UAE and Sudan remain the main export destinations.
Coffee was also affected by bad weather and low international prices as the prices are usually pegged on the New York Exchange.
Last month, the Treasury announced plans to regulate the commodity trading through the Capital Markets Authority to tame cartels and increase earnings to the farmers.