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Tea price hits six-month high at Mombasa auction

Thursday October 17 2019

Mombasa

Mombasa tea auction. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

GERALD ANDAE
By GERALD ANDAE
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Tea prices at the Mombasa trading have hit a six-month high as a series of good sales continued at the auction in the last one month.

A market report by the East African Tea Traders Association (EATTA) indicates that a kilo of tea fetched Sh233 up from Sh225 in the previous sale.

The traded volume increased by over 500,000 tonnes, one of the largest jumps in quantity 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 Sh233 when compared to last week’s Sh225,” says EATTA managing director Edward Mudibo.

In a similar period last year, the price was at Sh232 a kilo.

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

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Tea farmers affiliated to KTDA earned lower returns of Sh69.7 billion in 2018/2019 financial year in what the agency attributed to low international prices. Last year farmers earned Sh84 billion.

There has been an outcry over the recent payout that has left farmers desperate.

The reduced earnings placed Kenya at position two globally in terms of payment to farmers, having paid the growers an average of Sh42 per kilo.

It was followed 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.

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