LOW MARGINS

Tea prices remain low for third straight week

A kilo averaged $1.78

In Summary

•This week, total volume traded was 651,242 kilos more than last week, where a total of 10.9 million kilos were traded.

•The highest price remains for the first week of January when a kilo averaged $2.23 (Sh 237.50).

The East Africa Tea Trade Center on Nyerere Avenue, Mombasa
The East Africa Tea Trade Center on Nyerere Avenue, Mombasa
Image: FILE

Tea prices at the Mombasa auction have remained at this year's lowest selling price for the third straight week amid increased traded volumes.

Weekly data from the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA) a kilo averaged $1.78 (Sh189.57) at the secondary Wednesday auction.

This is similar to the average price a kilo sold in the past two weeks.

“Sale 25 average price remained constant at USD 1.78 when compared to Sale 24,” EATTA Managing Director Edward Mudibo said yesterday.

The commodity traded at $1.90 (Sh202.35) in a similar sale last year.

This week, total volume traded was 651,242 kilos more than last week, where a total of 10.9 million kilos were traded.

Out of 197,551 packages (12,864,652 kilos) available for sale,165,486 packages(10,887,869 kgs) were sold. 16.23 per cent packages remained unsold.

“Egyptian Packers lent strong support and were dominant while Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries showed more and forceful inter-est,” EATTA notes in its weekly report.

There was improved activity from Kazakhstan, other CIS Nations, Pakistan Packers, Bazaar and Russia.

“UK opened with increased support but interest waned as the auction progressed. Sudan were active but selective with Afghanistan selective while Iran were quieter. Local Packers lent more support while Somalia showed more activity at the lower end of the market,” the association added.

The highest price remains for the first week of January when a kilo averaged $2.23 (Sh 237.50).

Prices at the Mombasa auction and exchange rate of Kenya shilling to the dollar weigh heavily on final earnings by farmers.

The tea sector has been grappling with oversupply owing to prolonged rainfalls in tea growing areas in the country, which affects auction prices and final pay-out to farmers.

The Mombasa Tea Auction is one of the largest in the world where tea from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo is traded.