Commodities

Tea prices register marginal gain at Mombasa auction

Commodities

Tea prices register marginal gain at Mombasa auction


tea

A woman picks tea leaves at Gathehu village in Nyeri county on October 31, 2015. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG

Tea prices at the Mombasa auction rose marginally in last week’s sale, easing the slide that had hit the market in the previous four sales on account of lower demand in the international market.

Data from the East African Tea Trade Association (Eatta) indicates that the prices of the beverage rose to $2.25 (Sh272), up from $2.24 (Sh269) in the previous sale and $2.20 (Sh265) four weeks ago.

The prevailing low prices, however, resulted in the volume of tea withdrawn from the market hitting 33.5 percent from 31.2 percent previously.

Producers withdraw their tea from the auction floor if prices are not in their favour but they re-offer it in the next auction.

The auction also recorded an increase in the volume of tea offered for sale, which was 276,000 more than the previous trading.

During the sale, Pakistan Packers, Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries lent strong support with more but selective interest from Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.

“Egyptian Packers maintained inquiry but at lower levels while UK and Sudan showed selective interest. Russia and Iran were quiet while local packers showed some activity,” said Eatta.

The falling prices had earlier been attributed to low demand for the commodity at the auction following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February, which disrupted the market.

The Russian war on Ukraine cut the tea exports to the Asian nation by more than half a billion shillings in the first quarter, according to the regulator.

Farmers allied to the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings (KTDA) saw their earnings rise 42.4 percent to Sh62.8 billion in the year ended June when the price of the commodity rose by double digits. The payout was the highest received in five years.

The 26.6 percent price jump was helped by the government’s introduction of a minimum tea price per kilogramme of $2.43 for KTDA stocks starting July last year.

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