The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Low Prices Hurt February Tea Exports

February was a rather slow month for Rwanda tea as receipts from exports declined compared to January.

Figures from the National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB) indicate that Rwanda exported 1,772 tons of tea in February, but earned $4.39m, a 1.4 percent decline from $4.45m from 1,597 tons in January.

Jean Damascene Gasarabwe, the head of tea division at NAEB, said that the decline was caused by a fall in prices due to low demand on the international market. A kilogramme of tea fell to $2.48 in February from $2.79 in January with the consumers, Pakistan and Egypt, absent from the auction.

About 60 per cent of Rwandan tea is sold at the Mombasa Auction, while 37 per cent is bought by individual buyers from different countries. Only three percent is sold locally.

Last year, the cash crop raked in $55.5m which was also a 15.6 per cent decline compared to the $65m recorded in 2012. The decline in annual receipts was also attributed to a fall in prices.

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