The East African tea industry is seeking to expand into the Chinese market as a strategy to boost its declining revenues.
According to Edward Mudibo, the managing director of the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA), the region is experiencing an increasing production. However, the demand for tea has been stagnating thus leading to low prices at the Mombasa Tea Auction.
Mr. Mudibo stated that EATTA plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese Tea Association so that in the course of the year more East African tea can be sold in China.
Mr. Mudibo is optimistic that the Chinese buyers entering the Mombasa tea auction will boost the price at the market and increase foreign revenue for the East African Tea Market.
The East African Tea Trade Association represents the interest of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Madagascar, and Mozambique.
EATTA’S main objective is to run the weekly Mombasa tea auction center, the largest tea auction market in the world. It is also the only auction market that deals with tea from more than one country.
It has more than 70 buyers with its key markets being, Pakistan, Egypt, Britain, Sudan, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates. The Mombasa tea auction traded over 400 million kilograms of tea valued at over KSh 100 billion shillings in 2018.