- Pakistan is the biggest buyer at the Mombasa Tea Auction, taking up 38 per cent of the total weekly sales.
- "I am happy to announce that our request to have Tea considered as an essential Commodity has been approved," he said in a tweet.
Kenya has breathed a sigh of relief after the Islamic Republic of Pakistan classified her tea as an essential commodity.
While sharing the exciting news, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development Mithika Linturi said he was happy the Pakistan government has approved the long-awaited request.
"My weekends on a high note. After my recent trip to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan accompanied by KTDA Management, I am happy to announce that our request to have Tea considered as an essential Commodity has been approved," he said in a tweet.
Mithika also stated that the moves make it possible for traders to manage dollar shortage as the Pakistan Central Bank also approved the use of US dollars as the transaction currency in the tea business.
"It comes in as great news with the Pakistan market, being the largest for Kenyan tea at over 45%. This will indeed increase foreign exchange and raise the volumes of Kenyan tea to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan," he added.
According to the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA), Pakistan is the biggest buyer at the Mombasa Tea Auction, taking up 38 per cent of the total weekly sales.
It is followed by Egypt (18%), the UK(9%), UAE, Russia and Sudan each five percent, and Yemen (3%) while Afghanistan and Poland each take up two per cent share of the exports.
Iran is at the lower end with one per cent with the rest of the world taking up the remaining.
EATTA had warned that any reduction in exports to Pakistan would impact on auction prices.
In August 2021, Kenya and Pakistan ended a long-standing tariff war that had hurt trade between the two countries, mainly Kenyan tea exports.
The two countries agreed to remove the ‘Attestation Fee’ that was charged by Pakistan.
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 the latter taxed Pakistan rice at 75 percent under the East African Community (EAC) protocol in 2007.