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Smallholder tea price higher at the Mombasa auction

Monday September 23 2019

Tea farmers

Tea farmers pick tea at Ihururu area in Nyeri County. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

GERALD ANDAE
By GERALD ANDAE
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The smallholders’ tea at the weekly Mombasa auction maintained top position in the market last week as it continues to outperform other local offerings.

At Sh247 per kilo, produce from the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), which represents small -scale farmers fetched the highest price compared with other local teas that earned Sh220 for the same quantity.

This comes at a time when the average price of the commodity at the Mombasa auction has been trading at above Sh200 in the last three sales after a month of dismal performance.

The current rise in price marks the fifth consecutive time that KTDA teas have registered an increase in value. The average price in Mombasa also improved to Sh208 per kilo in sale 38 from Sh205 in sale 37 that was held the previous week.

“Our tea is always of the highest quality because of the consistence quality management,” said KTDA, which accounts for the bulk of total production in the market. The average price of tea at the auction has held above Sh200 per kilo after months of trading as low as Sh182, with the cost mainly driven up by high demand.

Falling prices of the commodity had been attributed to increase in production globally. Kenya sells over 95 percent of its tea to the world market making it the number one exporter of black teas.

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Global tea exports were 1.85 billion kilos, where Africa accounted for 35 percent or 654 million kilos. The Mombasa auction trades tea from over 10 other countries in Africa that include Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. The auction is currently the largest black CTC tea auction centre in the world.