Most sectors in Kenya registered a slump in their earnings in 2020, due to the effects of covid19. However, Kenya’s tea sector thrived during that period, despite the pandemic-related challenges. Earnings from Kenyan tea exports in 2020 jumped 15 percent to KSh130.25 billion from KSh113.45 billion in 2019, according to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
Kenya’s tea output increased, leading to higher tea exports. The volume of tea exported from Kenya in 2020 rose by 21 percent to 575.3 million kilograms, from 474.9 million kilograms exported the previous year. The month of April recorded the highest quantity of tea exports in 2020, at 57.7 million kilograms, and the highest earnings from the exports at KSh 13.2 billion.
Part of the reason Kenyan tea exports increased sharply in 2020 is a dip in tea output from the world’s second-largest black tea producer, India. India’s tea sector suffered from a shortage of tea workers due to lockdown and heavy rains which resulted in lower tea output from the Asian nation. Subsequently, major tea importers such as the UK, Egypt, and Pakistan bought the commodity from Kenya.
Kenya is the world leader in the production and exportation of black tea. Earnings from tea exports are a key source of foreign exchange for the country.