Tea earnings expected to rise by 4% to Sh116bn this year
Export earnings from tea are expected to increase by 4 per cent this year on account of higher production and stable prices in the international market.
The Tea Board of Kenya said it expects tea exports to fetch Sh116 billion this year, up from Sh112.2 billion last year. In 2011, tea exports earned the country Sh109.4 billion.
Ms Sicily Kariuki, managing director of the board, said good weather conditions experienced during the last quarter of 2012 had continued into this year and are expected to lead to a slightly higher production.
“Going by the trend for the past five years, output for 2013 is projected at 373 million kg, 1 per cent more compared to 369 million kg in 2012,” she said.
Last year, the country recorded a drop of 2 per cent in tea production to stand at 369 million kg , compared with 377.9 million kg in 2011.
This was a further drop from a peak production of 399 million kg in 2010.
The drop was attributed to frost attack in January, severe weather conditions and delayed onset of the long rains.
Tea export and re-exports reached 430 million kg, compared with 421 million kg recorded in 2011, underscoring increased trade in the commodity.
Tea auction prices continued an upward trend for the fifth year to stand at an average of $3.18 (about Sh270) compared to $2.77 (about Sh235) in 2011. The Kenya tea prices are expected to hold at an average of $3.20 this year.
Traditional markets like the United Kingdom experienced lower consumption due to change in preferences, particularly among the youth.
Among the emerging markets, Russia recorded 18 per cent growth, Somalia 37 per cent, Ireland 18 per cent, USA 33 per cent, Djibouti 45 per cent, Indonesia 28 per cent, Turkey 135 per cent, Netherlands 61 per cent and Chile 114 per cent.
Local tea consumption in 2012 increased by 13.6 per cent to 22.7 million kg, compared with 20 million kg in 2011.
Earnings from local tea rose to Sh14.90 billion, compared with Sh13.10 billion the previous year.
Source: Nation Media
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