The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Top Grade Tea Price Inches Up At Auction

The average price for Kenya's top tea grade rose to $3.53 per kg at auction on Tuesday from $3.47 per kg at the previous sale, lifted by a jump in demand, brokers said.

Kenya is the world's largest exporter of black tea and the crop is one of its largest hard currency earners, raking in $1.27 billion last year. Best Broken Pekoe Ones fetched $3.20-$3.85 per kg compared with $3.20-$3.74 per kg at last week's sale, Africa Tea Brokers said in a market report. Best Pekoe Fanning Ones went for $3.32-$3.60 per kg, up from $3.23-$3.52 per kg.

There was improved and strong demand for the 4.77 million kg on offer with just 12 per cent remaining without buyers, ATB said. "Pakistan Packers lent very strong support with more activity from Yemen, other Middle Eastern countries, UK, Sudan and Kazakhstan," it said.

Regulator Tea Board of Kenya expects production to pick up starting this quarter, after a 14 per cent year-on-year fall in output for the first three months of the year, thanks to heavy rains. The weekly auction in the port city of Mombasa also handles tea from other regional producers such as Burundi and Tanzania.

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