INCREASE

Tea auction prices hit highest mark this year

A kilo averaged $2.26 this week up from $2.18 last week.

In Summary

•The total volume traded was however 824 kilos less than the previous sale.

•There was strong support from Pakistan Packers and were forceful and dominant with more and strong enquiry from Kazakhstan.

Farmers at a tea collection point in Chepilat, Nyamira/FILE
Farmers at a tea collection point in Chepilat, Nyamira/FILE

Tea prices at the weekly Mombasa auction rose to the highest mark this year as demand in the key market of Pakistan rose.

A kilo averaged $2.26 (Sh250.29) this week up from $2.18 (Sh241.44) last week.

The total volume traded was however 824 kilos less than the previous sale.

According to the auction managers–East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA), there was a good general demand for the 127,099packages (8,316,318.50 kilos) available for sale with 95,501 packages (6,267,644.00 kilos) being sold. 

About 24.86 per cent packages remained unsold.  

“There was strong support from Pakistan Packers and were forceful and dominant with more and strong enquiry from Kazakhstan and other CIS states,” EATTA managing director Edward Mudibo said.

Yemen, other Middle Eastern countries, Egyptian Packers, and Russia increased interest while Sudan were active.

UK and Bazaar reduced activity and were selective, EATTA notes.

“There were some purchases for Iran. Afghanistan were subdued. Local Packers showed good activity on account of price. Somalia were active at the lower end of the market,” the weekly report by EATTA states.

 This is the highest price so far this year where the commodity’s average price has been below the preferred 2-dollar mark.

“Anything below two dollars is not good,” Mudibo notes.

Pakistan which absorbs about 40 per cent of all tea exports from Kenya recently agreed to remove ’Attestation Fee’ that was charged by the Pakistan High Commission in Nairobi, a move that has made Kenyan tea competitive in the export market.

Calculated at 0.5 per cent of the entire export volume for the tea exporters from Kenya, it made Kenyan tea costlier when it landed in Pakistan compared to other teas.

Pakistan slapped the fee on Kenya tea when it initiated taxation of Pakistan rice at 75 per cent under the East African Community (EAC) protocol in 2007.

Tea exporters from Kenya were required to get their export documents confirmed and approved by the Pakistan High Commission, before shipping out consignments.