Saturday, January 24, 2009

Egypt now the leading importer of Kenyan tea

January 21, 2009

Egypt overtook Pakistan as the leading importer of Kenyan tea last year.

Some 91 million kilos of tea were shipped to Egypt from Mombasa auction, while 55 million kilos, or 15.6 per cent of the total exports, were sold in Pakistan.

The United Kingdom bought 64.4 million kilos or 18.2 per cent of the exports, followed by Afghanistan’s 22 million kilos (6.4 per cent). Sudan bought 22 million or 6.2 per cent while the United Arab Emirates bought 16 million kilos (4.5 per cent.)

Other significant buyers included Russia 4.2 per cent, Yemen 3.5 per cent, and Kazakhstan 2.7 per cent.

Largest importer
According to statistics released by the Tea Board of Kenya, the Kenyan tea market was dominated by Egypt, the UK and Pakistan, who absorbed about 60 per cent of the product.

In 2007, Pakistan was the largest importer followed by Egypt, the UK, Afghanistan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Kazakhstan and Yemen. Last year’s exports totalled 354 million kilogrammes, a slight increase from 328 million kilos exported in 2007.

The major buyers at the Mombasa auction include Lipton Limited, which bought 61 million kilos, followed by James Finlay that bought 32 million kilos, Global Tea Commodities Limited 28.5 million kilos, Van Rees Limited 25.8 million kilos, and LAB International 22 million kilos.

According to figures issued by the Tea Brokers East Africa Limited, the price performance at the action was good, the annual average was US dollars 2.18 while the average for the 2007 season was 1.93. Out of the 305 million kilos sold at the auction, 228 million were from Kenya, with the rest coming from eight other east African states.