The price of tea at the Mombasa auction declined Sh3 in the last sale of the year compared with the first trading in January, highlighting low prices that the Kenyan beverage attracted in 2019, signalling low earnings for growers.
A market report by the East African Tea Traders Association (Eatta) indicates a kilogramme of made tea on average fetched Sh214 in last week’s trading compared with the first sale of the year where it attracted Sh217.
In comparison with previous week, the price of the commodity remained constant at Sh214 a kilo in Tuesday’s sale.
“The average price in this sale remained constant at Sh214, which is the same value that was realised last week,” says Managing Director Edward Mudibo.
The volume traded during the sale increased by 1.1 million kilogrammes hitting 10.3 million kilos to mark the third largest volumes to have been recorded this year.
In a similar period last year, a kilo of made tea at the Mombasa-based auction fetched Sh213 on average.
A series of low prices in the last financial year saw farmers affiliated to Kenya Tea Development Agency get reduced earnings.
The farmers earned decreased returns of Sh69.7 billion in 2018/19 financial year in what the agency attributed to low international prices, down from Sh84 billion in the previous season.
The reduced earnings placed Kenya at position two globally in terms of payment to farmers, having paid the growers an average of Sh42 per kilogramme, trailing 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.