Kenya’s tea output, earnings rise in 2013

Thursday, 3 April 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Earnings from crop exports rise 2% to $ 1.3 b due to higher volume
  • New markets cushion earnings from lower prices; Crop up 17% to 432.4 m kilos
REUTERS: Kenya’s tea output and export earnings rose last year, helped by good weather and by sales to new markets, which cushioned its sector from a drop in world prices, the industry regulator said. The Tea Board of Kenya said earnings rose 2% to 114.4 billion shillings ($ 1.3 billion), while total output jumped 17% to a record 432.4 million kg. The east African nation is the world’s leading exporter of black tea, which is also a leading hard currency earner alongside tourism, remittances and horticulture. “Owing to good weather conditions that were mostly experienced in the first half of the year, cumulative production for the year 2013 was significantly higher,” the board said in a statement. Total export volumes rose to 494.3 million kg, including sales of stocks carried over from the previous year, when export volumes were 430.2 million kg, the board said. The value of exports dropped to $ 2.68 per kg from $ 3.09 per kg in 2012 due to a supply glut and disturbances in major markets. “Kenya tea was exported to seven new markets that included Vietnam, Philippines, Azerbaijan, South Sudan, Myanmar, South Korea and the Czech Republic,” the board said. “In addition, recent markets such as Angola as well as seasonal markets such as Syria, Taiwan and Chad imported higher volumes compared to the previous years.” Leading buyers for Kenya’s tea were Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, which together bought 74% of the total exports. Local tea consumption rose to 26.5 million kg from 22.7 million kg, the board said.