Market News

Tea price falls to six week low at auction

Tea pickers. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Tea pickers. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Tea prices at the Mombasa auction dropped to a six-week low last Tuesday, marking a third time in a row the commodity has been losing at the weekly sale.

Market data from the weekly auction indicate the average price of tea dropped marginally to Sh303 from Sh305 last week.

This is a huge decline from the last week of September when the commodity recorded a nine-month high of Sh310 a kilogramme.

Tea directorate had early in the month attributed high prices in the previous sales on panic buying as consumers bought huge volumes to stock ahead of October 26 election.

EATTA said most teas still traded at above Sh400 per kilo in recent sales, bringing the average price of the beverage to above Sh300.

Mombasa is a regional hub for tea trade with auction selling teas from more than 19 African countries. Each grade attracts different price based on quality.

About 129,890 packages (8,470,000 kilos) of tea were available for sale Tuesday, where 119,631 packages (7,809,875 kilos) were sold off.  7.9 per cent of the packages remained unsold.

Kenya is a leading exporter of black CTC tea and the beverage earned country $1.226 billion (Sh127.3 billion) last year, which was a drop of 1.7 per cent from the $1.247 billion (Sh129.4 billion) the commodity recorded in 2015.