Nairobi — Prices of teas from KTDA-managed factories improved marginally at the Mombasa Tea Auction this week, selling at an average of $2.43 per Kg compared to $2.29 at the previous auction.
At the auction held Tuesday 2nd August, KTDA managed factories offloaded 84% of all teas offered at the market, down from 87% sold the previous week as the market continues to positively embrace the minimum price regime that was introduced in July 2021.
The teas sold at $1.90 prior to the introduction of the minimum reserve price, indicating the market is warming to the new regime.
The introduction of the minimum reserve price by the new KTDA Holdings board was informed by the need to improve farmers' earnings that had for a long time taken a beating from low prices.
In his market update last week, KTDA Holdings Acting CEO, Wilson Muthaura noted that the improvement in price and absorption of KTDA teas is welcome, and is a reflection that tea buyers appreciate the need for sustainable tea farming.
Prices of tea at the Mombasa Tea Auction have been on a downward trend since 2018 and had this year slid below USD2 which threatened to push farmers to losses as low selling prices cannot cover production costs.
KTDA however notes that the factories it manages are exploring ways of reducing operational costs, including instituting energy-saving measures and installing more efficient tea processing machines.