Volume of tea sold declines on back of spread of Covid-19

Monday, May 4th, 2020 00:00 |
Tea picking.

EXPORTS: Depressed demand following disruptions and restrictions of movement due to Covid-19 led to low demand for Kenyan tea in some key global market destinations in March.

The tea directorate, in a market report, said even though more tea was harvested during the month, some key markets registered low demand for Kenyan tea. 

Pakistan and Egypt, the major Kenyan tea buyers, recorded a 19 per cent and nine per cent drop respectively in the March compared to the same period last year.

But on the other hand, countries currently recording high positive cases of coronavirus mainly UK, USA and Italy surprisingly recorded high imports during the review period.

Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) acting director general Anthony Muriithi said the low demand for the commodity in the global market coupled with high production locally equally led to low prices at the Mombasa tea auction.

During the month, production reached 55.7 million compared to 26.5 million kilogrammes recorded in the same period in 2019.

“The increased production registered was occasioned following high rainfall coupled with high precipitation and sunny intervals experienced in tea growing regions,” said Muriithi.

Total tea exports decreased by one per cent from 44.7 million kilogrammes shipped last year to various market destinations to 44.2 million in March, 2020.

Pakistan topped as the leading importer of Kenyan tea after buying 14.3 million kgs accounting for 32 per cent of the total export volume.

But the quantity was a 19 per cent drop compared to 17.5 million kgs imported by the Asian country in the same period last year.

– Nicholas Waitathu

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