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Regional tea auction suffers sales, price dip

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Labourers pick tea leaves from a plantations. Tea is one

Labourers pick tea leaves from a plantations. Tea is one of Uganda’s top foreign exchange earners. Photo BY AFP 

By  Dorothy Nakaweesi

Posted  Tuesday, July 15   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

About 9.2 million kilogrammes were offered, this was below the 9.7 million kilogrammes offered the same period last year

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The East African regional tea auction at Mombasa suffered a 5.4 per cent decline in sales and a price drop.

According to report from the African Tea Brokers Ltd in the just concluded auction held on June 30, and July 1, 2014- a total of 9.2 million kilogrammes were offered, this was below the 9.7 million kilogrammes offered the same period last year-thus indicating a 5.4 per cent decline.

“All together a total of 9.2 million was offered and 8.2 million was sold in this auction,” the report noted.

Performance
Of these, Kenya the leading producer offered 6.4 million kilogrammes but was able to sell off a total of 5.8 million kilogrammes.

Uganda the second producer on this auction market offered a total of 1.5 million Kilogramme and sold off 1.2 million kilogrammes.

In the third position was Rwanda which offered a total of 420,000 kilogrammes and was able to sell of 390,000 kilogrammes, Tanzania followed Rwanda in the fourth position with a 405,000 kilogramme offer and sold off 336,000 kilogrammes.

Burundi which took the fifth position offering 254,000 kilogrammes and sold off 240,000 kilogrammes. Other countries which offered were Mozambique, Madagascar, and Malawi.

Price
The average total price offered also dropped from last year’s $2.34 (Shs6, 224) down to $1.91 (Shs5, 080) per kilogramme sold.

Kenya was ranked second in terms of price and each kilogramme was sold at $2.07 (Shs5, 506) this was less than the $2.47 (Shs6, 570) it received per kilogramme the previous year.

The report indicates that Rwanda’stea receives the highest price.

This time around Rwanda sold each kilogramme at $2.14 (Shs5, 692) though down from $2.38 (Shs6, 330) it received last year.

Uganda, in this auction, realised a decline in the price as it recorded $1.97 (Shs5, 240) down from $1.81 (Shs4, 814) it received per kilogramme the previous year.

Tanzania attracted the least price in the region and each kilogramme sold at $1.13 (Shs3, 005) down from last year’s $1.67 (Shs4, 442).

Uganda exports more than 90 per cent of its tea through Mombasa. In Kenya, the world’s leading exporter of black tea where the commodity is the top foreign exchange earner, tea prices shot up.

dnakaweesi@ug.nationmedia.com