Nairobi — Kenya tea export volumes for the year 2013 increased by 14.9 percent to 494.3 million kilograms compared to 430.2 million kilos recorded in 2012.
According to Tea Board of Kenya statistics, exports earnings rose by 2 percent from Sh112.2 billion in 2012 to Sh114.4 billion recorded in 2013.
Despite increased earnings, the export value per kilo declined from Sh268 to Sh232 on account of global demand and supply situation and disturbances in key markets.
However, compared to the previous years, the market base was higher as Kenya tea was exported to seven new markets that included Vietnam, Philippines, Azerbaijan, South Sudan, Myanmar, South Korea and the Czech Republic.
In addition, recent markets such as Angola as well as seasonal markets such as Syria, Taiwan and Chad imported higher volumes compared to previous years.
The Tea Board of Kenya says this is an indication that the Kenya tea export market base is rapidly expanding into emerging and new markets owing to continued industry promotion activities.
Cumulative production for the year 2013 was significantly higher at 432.4 million kilos against 369.5 million kilos recorded in 2012 owing to good weather conditions that was mostly experienced in the first half of the year.
In the month of December 2013 production was slightly higher at 41.7 million kilos, against 41.4 million kilos recorded during the corresponding month of 2012 attributed to enhanced rainfall coupled with warm temperatures experienced in the tea growing areas.
Pakistan was the leading export destination for Kenyan tea at 22 percent of the of the total export volume for the month having imported 8.7 million kilos.
Other key export destinations for Kenyan tea were Egypt (8.6 million kgs), Afghanistan (5.1 million kgs), UK (4.9 million kgs) and UAE (2.4 million kgs).