Tea prices up at auction despite higher volumes

Mombasa auction
Mombasa auction. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Tea prices at the Mombasa auction improved in this week’s trading, defying an increase in volumes that were offered for sale, which went up by 970, 000.

A market report from the East African Tea Traders Association (Eatta) showed a kilo of beverage traded at Sh208 on average from Sh194 in the previous sale.

The volumes of tea withdrawn from the market went down slightly to 18 from 20 per cent in the previous auction following the price increase. Eatta said 2.1 million kilogrammes of the beverage was removed from the trading floor.

Decline in prices has been attributed to increased volumes of green leaf from farmers, which have shot up in recent months because of good weather.

The volumes have impacted negatively on prices with farmers expected to earn less in October when Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) will be announcing the second payment, commonly known as bonus, for small scale farmers affiliated to its factories. Globally, demand for tea has been lukewarm in recent months after buyers had bulked up on their stock earlier in the year.