Rwanda’s tea is selling at premium rates at the Mombasa Tea Auction, overshadowing price offers from other East African countries.
Weekly price offers for Rwandan tea have been on the rise in the last three months, outshining produce from Kenya Tea Development Agency outlets.
This week, broken pekoe-1 (BP1) tea from Gisovu factory - Rwanda’s top outlet - attracted a highest bid of ($5.5) per kilogramme compared to $4.28 per kilo offer that the same grade from Meru-based Githongo factory (Kenya’s best) attracted. Traditionally, Kenya tea has attracted top prices.
“Since the grade of tea is the same across the region, that implies quality is what is creating the price difference,” said Mr William Tindi, an executive at the African Tea Brokers. “Buyers may bid high or low depending on quality.”
The regional teas are offered for sale at the Mombasa auction by the East African Tea Traders Association before they are shipped out of the country.
Kenya, a leading tea exporter in the world, accounts for three quarters of the produce traded at the Mombasa auction. While prices have generally remained low, Kenya’s tea is apparently shedding attractiveness.
even as factories in Rwanda work to improve the quality for export market.
The August 6 auction data shows that KTDA’s Kiptagich tea factory (Nakuru), and Ngorongo tea factory in Kiambu attracted the lowest price offers at $1.25 and $1.37 per kilogramme.