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Commodities

Tea hits highest price in four months at the Mombasa auction

The price of tea at the Mombasa auction continues to rise
The price of tea at the Mombasa auction continues to rise with last week marking the highest value in the last four months. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The price of tea at the Mombasa auction continues to rise with last week marking the highest value in the last four months.

A market report by the East African Tea Traders Association (Eatta) indicates that a kilogramme on average fetched Sh225 in the week’s trading compared with Sh215 in the previous sale.

The volume traded during the week increased by over 400,000 tonnes in one of the largest jumps in quantities in recent months as the tea sector recovers from the dry weather that hit the country in the first quarter.

“The average price increased to Sh225 when compared to last week’s Sh215,” said Eatta managing director Edward Mudibo.

In a similar period last year the price was at Sh273 per kilogramme of made tea.

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The improved performance gives farmers hope of earning a good bonus at the end of this financial year, coming at a time when the growers have just earned low returns from the previous fiscal year.

Farmers affiliated to the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) earned decreased returns of Sh69.7 billion in 2018/2019 financial year in what the agency attributed to low international prices.

Last year farmers took home Sh84 billion.

The reduced KTDA earnings placed Kenya at position two globally in terms of payment to farmers, having paid the growers an average of Sh42 per kilogramme. It was surpassed by Sri-Lanka at Sh48.

Kenya is the leading exporter of the commodity in the world, selling 95 percent of its tea in the global market.

Nairobi is exploring new markets and expanding the existing ones such as China, which has potential to buy more of the local tea.

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