Uganda: Tea Prices Recover At Mombasa Auction

Tea prices have recovered from almost two months of decline, according to details from the East Africa Tea Traders Association.

Uganda and other East African member states sell their tea through the Mombasa Auction.

Tea prices had declined at the end of January but the recovery is expected to impact Uganda's export receipts, which have been growing for at least six months now.

Tea prices, according to details from East Africa Tea Traders Association, inched closer to a two-dollar mark in the weekly auction with a kilogramme selling at Shs7,378 from Shs7,310.

Volumes offered for sale at the Mombasa Auction, details indicate, have also been rising with Kenya and Uganda contributing the largest share.

However, the amount of the commodity withdrawn from the trading floor was higher than the previous sale.

Data from the Mombasa Auction indicate that tea prices had opened 2021 on a high but nosedived in mid-January.

Details from the East Africa Tea Traders Association, indicate that 14 per cent of the volume offered for sale was withdrawn compared to 11 per cent during the previous trading.

Quantities offered for sale rose marginally by 163,000 kilogrammes, which saw a rise in volumes offered for sale to 14 million kilogrammes.

However, about 12m kilogrammes were sold with 14.75 per cent remaining unsold.

Mr Elly Twineyo, the Uganda Export Promotion Board executive director, said tea responds to season, noting the prices would continue to strengthen at the Mombasa Auction.

Prices have been relatively low since mid 2018 standing below the two-dollar mark against high volumes.

During the period, Kenya sold 10.7 million kilogrammes out of the 11.3 million it offered while Uganda sold 1.5 million kilogrammes out of the 1.7 million it offered.

Tea is one of Uganda's leading exports sold through the Mombasa Auction.

Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Ethiopia all recorded a decline in sales compared to the same period the previous year.

Rwanda sold 530,000 kilogrammes down from 580,000 kilogrammes while Burundi sold 164,000 kilogrammes down from 220,000 kilogrammes the previous year.

Tanzania sold 111,000 kilogrammes, which represented decline of nearly 50 per cent from the previous 208,000 kilogramme that were sold in the same period the previous year.

Lukewarm demand

According to information from East African Tea Traders Association good weather and minimal impact from Covid-19 led to a significant increase in volumes.

The East African Tea Traders Association also noted that "demand for tea has been lukewarm in recent months after buyers had bulked up stock earlier in the year." That surplus may be easing.

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