Tea prices flat at weekly Mombasa auction as supply increases

Wednesday March 18 2020

Tea prices at the Mombasa auction remained flat this week even as the supply of the commodity increased in the latest sale held on Tuesday.

A kilo of tea fetched Sh221 this week, the same price that it attracted in the previous auction.

The price of the beverage has been falling since the beginning of the year following an increase in volumes resulting from favourable weather.

Figures from the directorate indicate the volume of tea produced between January and June rose to 230 million kilos against 200 million recorded in a similar period last year.

In June, says the report, 28 million kilos were sold through the auction against 23 million recorded in the same month of 2017.

East African Tea Traders Association (Eatta), which manages the auction, had previously pointed out that the price of the commodity was expected to improve on account of low supply in future sales.

The volume offered for sale this week increased by 138,212 kilos from 7.8 million to 7.9 million kilos in Tuesday trading.

The quantities supplied to the auction have been declining in what has been attributed to cold season that has affected production in most tea growing zones.

Lower prices witnessed in the recent days mean low earnings for farmers in the second payment that is normally paid toward the end of the calendar year.

Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has already warned that farmers should brace for low bonus this year as a result of poor prices witnessed in the first two quarters of the year.