Tea sales improve at Mombasa auction
Reuben Mwambingu @reubenmwambingu
Sales figures at the Mombasa tea auction have improved in the past six sales despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, managing director East African Tea Trade Association (Eatta) Edward Mudibo said yesterday.
According to Mudibo, the pandemic is affecting members of the tea value chain including producers, ware-housemen, brokers, exporters and packers.
“Whereas the tea value chain is classified under the critical and essential service providers who are exempted by the dusk to dawn curfew including food dealers, distributors, wholesalers and transporters of farm produce, the tea sector has witnessed challenges in the factory processes, transportation from within and outside Kenya, warehousing and the adherence to social distancing and other health concerns during the auction administration,” said Mudibo.
The challenges notwithstanding, Mudibo said that the average price of a kilogramme of tea at the auction was $1.94 (Sh206.7) in sale 13, $1.96 (Sh208.8) in sale 14, $2.05 (Sh218.4) in sale 15, $2.12 (Sh225.9) in sale 16, $2.07 (Sh220.6) in sale 17 and $1.94 (Sh206.7) in sale 18.
“As you can see from the records, the auction performance trends over the past six sales have kept on improving despite the challenges posed by the pandemic,” he said.
At the same time, he said the total volume traded for sale 18 was 10.6 million kgs which was 7,282 Kilos more than sale 17.
“The total volume traded for sale 17 was 1.1 million kgs less than sale 16. The total volume traded for sale 16 was 1.6 million kgs less than sale 15 while the total volume traded for sale 15 was 1.7 million kgs more than sale 14 and that of sale 14 was 12,364 kgs more than sale 13.
The important thing is that the average price and quantities have been increasing over the past six weeks except for sale 18,” said the Eatta boss.
He said one of the challenges that need to be addressed in the draft Tea Regulations 2020 is the uncompetitiveness of Kenyan tea in the international market.